Thank God It's Friday

30th July 2004 at 01:00
The summer's here and the living is easy - but not for everyone

Monday

I start an induction week at my new school - although I'm exhausted from the PGCE year and my last teaching practice. I meet my Year 2 class for the first time. I'm like a rabbit in headlights but all they want to know is how many school trips I'll be taking them on. Hymn practice is painful; I don't know any of the words and end up miming. Forgive me Lord.

It turns out another NQT starts with me in September. I'm not convinced it's a good thing as he's bringing out my competitive side. He is also ueber keen, and asks me when I am intending to come in over the summer.

Grrr.

Tuesday

I feel overwhelmed. I have back-to-back inductions with consultants and teachers but it's all too much to take in. I am terrified.

I get the chance to absorb the atmosphere, however, at the Year 6 leavers'

Mass. I haven't been to holy communion for 15 years, but, nothing has changed. The other NQT, Brian, plays violin with the school orchestra. Is there nothing this boy can't do? I decide to dig my old treble recorder out of the attic.

Wednesday It's International Day after school and everyone, including Brian, turns up in dress-down clothes. Except me. I'm wearing a sharp black suit because no one remembered to tell me I could wear jeans. If I didn't feel like the new girl before, I do now. It's like the reverse of being made to do PE in a vest and pants.

All the staff go for drinks afterwards and it doesn't take long for the wine to slacken a few tongues. Before I know it I am getting the inside scoop on parents, teachers and children. God bless Chardonnay.

Thursday Brian and I are the only ones doing any hard graft this week. The children seem to be having a week-long party and have eaten their body weight in Wotsits and chocolate snowballs. Note to self: must have healthy end-of-term party next year to help combat childhood obesity. And all these leftovers are playing havoc with my diet. Whatever happened to sports day?

Friday School's out for summer. This means nothing as I have so much work to do. I am given a list of days the school is open over the summer. I may as well kiss goodbye to the last-minute holiday I'd planned. Where did I put my copy of the national curriculum?

The writer starts teaching in a north London primary next term

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