Thank God it's Friday

17th October 2003 at 01:00
Monday "Got a job yet?" a parent asks as I drop my children off at school.

"No". "They're crying out for teachers," she continues. "In secondary schools, but not so much in infants and especially not round here." I walk home despondently to check the answer machine for calls from supply agencies.

Tuesday "It's really slow at the moment"; "schools just don't have the money"; "they're requesting their regular supply teachers". More fruitless calls to agencies. I meet up for lunch with three others who did the PGCE with me. None of us has a job.

Wednesday The "Use your head, teach" ad comes on and I throw a cushion at the TV. I spend two hours working on a letter of application which has to be handwritten. I make a mistake in the penultimate paragraph, and have to start again. I pop to the supermarket and miss a call offering supply for tomorrow. When I ring back, they've given it to someone else.

Thursday I help in my son's class and spend an hour and a half rolling up tissue paper into little balls and sticking them on to a life-size outline of a child. I pretend the teacher isn't there and that it is my class. On the way out I give my CV to the office, hoping they will overlook what a stroppy parent I've been over the years.

Friday Four jobs are advertised on the LEA website. I arrange visits for all of them and visit one straight away. It's a lovely small school, near to home, and will consider NQTs. I feel positive. I buy The TES, read it from cover to cover, and begin to feel "teachery" again.

Alison Wood recently qualified. She lives in south Gloucestershire

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