It's wait and SEA for me

26th October 2007 at 01:00
Life as a new teacher. Early mornings, planning, paperwork, the buzz of my own classroom. This is what I trained for, right? Yes, I did, but unfortunately I haven't got it yet. Am I worried? No, amazingly I'm not. Admittedly, I would love the security of a full-time permanent position, but unfortunately it's not yet to be.

The problem comes when people ask me what I do. I tell them I have just finished training as a primary school teacher. Then the inevitable question comes: "So, where are you working?" That's when I have to churn out my well-rehearsed speech: "Oh, well I don't have a job yet, I am doing supply." Then the age-old belief rears its ugly head. "But I thought there was a shortage of teachers?" Hmm, don't they all.

I have to explain that, yes, it is true for some parts of the country and in some specialist subjects. But no, in Devon and Cornwall it's just not the case - and certainly not in primary schools. On average, there are at least 100 applicants for every job. "More than 100?" they all say with a look of disbelief and I reply, "Yes, I'm afraid so". Then I have to explain why - that Devon and Cornwall are such beautiful places to live, with clean air, the sea and the moors all there on your doorstep.

Then the next question comes. "Well, why don't you just move where there are jobs?" OK, sell my house, leave behind my boyfriend of 10 years, our dog and all my friends and family. Thanks, but no thanks. No, just like all those other people, I love living where I live. I love having all those beautiful things on my doorstep. I can be at the beach in 30 minutes, or alternatively climbing up a tor being blown inside out.

So no. Instead I just repeat my mantra: "The right job will come along for me." And in all honesty I know it will. Until then, I shall relish the fact that I don't have to worry about lesson plans and marking and homework. But when I do get that job, which I will, I shall love every minute of it, knowing that I have my own classroom at last

Kelly Slade is a new teacher in Plymouth.

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