Talking shop

26th May 2000 at 01:00
Former headteacher Sue Mulvany gets to the heart of issues that concern you


After nearly two years of supply teaching I was fortunate to get a permanent post in a small rural school in which I am very happy. I live in rented accommodation during the week and travel 150 miles at weekends to return to my fiance and the new home we bought just before I was offered this job. We have to budget very carefully and the cost of travel, rent and having "two of everything" is beginning to take its toll. I miss my fiance and I hardly get any time to relax at weekends. My partner and I have spent many hours discussing the pros and cons and always end up thinking I should stay because of the financial worries. Should I stick it out and wait for a job in my own area or do I take the plunge and come home?


It depends if you are a good swimmer, if you are good at rik-taking. The serious point is to do with being able to "afford" the lifestyle you have chosen. Ask yourself these questions. Can I afford to be this unhappy? Can I afford to put such a strain on the relationship with my partner? Can I meet my half of the financial costs of our life together by working on supply near home?

It seems to me that a significant proportion of your earnings cancel themselves out. In other words, you are working to pay the costs of working, and not making any profit to invest in yourself.

Once you have decided that the overall quality of life is more important than running to stand still you need to think of a strategy to implement your plan. You could resign with effect from the end of the summer term and meanwhile apply for permanent posts near home, while working as a supply teacher. Something will turn up.

Good Luck.

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