Diary of the week'

24th November 2006 at 00:00

In at 8am as usual. Started the day with only two out of the five staff in the department. Two sick, third with transport problems. Huge relief when he appeared at 10am. Lunch was 10 minutes. Worked until 6pm preparing lessons for other people's classes.


Proper biology cover teacher in. Running between floors to start classes and ensure cover staff understand instructions. In the middle came a phone call - a guidance teacher has been held up. Could I "start her class?" I offered to sweep the floors too. Afternoon - left my classes with a cover teacher as I went to another school as a preliminary to an interview.

Returned at 4pm and worked until 6pm, preparing more work for other classes.


Staffing the same. Ran to my interview at 9.30am - was back at 10.45am, having only missed two classes. Continued to teach all day. Got a call at 3.30pm to say I hadn't got the job. Got home and a wave of exhaustion washes over me.


One member of staff back. I was asked on several occasions "are you OK?".

Apparently, I'm looking awful. I got a "please take" for another subject - no work for them to do. Was told they could draw pictures - as long as they were occupied. Skills for Life teacher in and spoke to me like I was five years old. After all the lessons I've prepared for other people this week, I was fizzing mad.


My get up and go has definitely got up and gone. Started the day with a "lively" S2 class using Bunsen burners. Ugh. More practical work during the day, then ended with the most difficult class in the department, still without a biology teacher, getting a "reward" of watching a DVD. After war had broken out over which to watch, the cover teacher made a decision - and shooed me away. Final bell of the week rang at 3.15pm - a sweet sound.

Fiona Saunders is principal teacher of biology at Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen

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