'I smiled all the way till Christmas'

26th August 2005 at 01:00
The autumn term blues may be familiar to many teachers, but not for Antoinette Valente.

The 27-year-old German language teacher, who has taught for three years at Winston Churchill school in Woking, Surrey, said that she looked forward to the winter term and felt at her most stressed in February and March.

Ms Valente also bucks the trend by saying that her first year as a newly-qualified teacher was her most enjoyable.

"The cliche is that you shouldn't smile till Christmas, but I was smiling all the time and it didn't seem to do the pupils any harm," she said.

Ms Valente's job has grown more challenging since she became a deputy head of year, a role which involves much more administration.

She said that she found the spring term the hardest part of the year because of the clustering of deadlines for reports.

"It's different for other teachers," she said.

"I mentored two NQTs last year and their low point - the point where they were wondering if the job was for them - was Christmas."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today