Just when you thought life couldn't get more exciting

19th May 2006 at 01:00
It wasn't until I was 24 that I finally went weak at the knees. It wasn't a blonde chatting me up in a nightclub, nor had I won the lottery. The time was 6:02pm and I was midway through my evening meal. I'd just received a phone call on my mobile and a husky male voice asking if he could "speak to Tom Corker please". He went on to recall a This is Your Life account of my past few years, before stopping and simply saying: "We were very impressed with you today and would like to offer you the position of technology teacher." In an instant my legs turned to jelly and I became speechless.

Apparently I accepted - although I don't remember doing so. Thankfully, the headteacher could decipher my nervous ramblings. Either he frequented trendy nightclubs, or I wasn't the only interviewee incapable of speech.

I've experienced many unique situations, but no matter how emotional I've been, I've never gone weak at the knees. The day I was offered my first teaching post managed to do it. Perhaps it was the thought of some job security having been a student for the past six years. Perhaps it was the thought that I would be working in a school with technology status, something that I had hoped for. Perhaps it was the realisation of becoming a teacher, something I'd wanted since I was a teenager. Perhaps it was all of these things.

Speaking to colleagues on my course, it has become apparent that for all of the stresses of the PGCE year - not being able to sleep those first few weeks on placement, so nervous you are about to stand in front of at least 20 hormonal and rebellious teenagers, the constant planning and paperwork - the biggest of all is gaining your first post.

My first kiss, the winning of an election campaign, gaining national recognition in journalism. All of these will remain embedded in my memory for the rest of my life. Yet so too will 6.02pm on Thursday March 23. The day I went weak at the knees for the first time.

Tom Corker lives in Felixstowe, Suffolk

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