Thank God it's Friday

22nd April 2005 at 01:00

Thank God it's Monday and home is my own again; the novelty of my break from teaching has still not worn off. A leisurely walk to school with my son, the sun is shining and I take the long way home. Coffee time is 9.30, 10.30 and 11.15 and I enjoy my drink in the garden rather than the playground. My post-lunch slump is indulged with the newspaper and another bash at the TES caption competition.


It's my adult education creative writing class. I struggle to write a poem on the subject of My Bed. Sometimes I get no inspiration at all and end up secretly reading instead. Most often I am dissatisfied with what I've done and end up abandoning the project. On the rare occasion that I create a piece I'm pleased with, I never seem to be picked to read it out. I make a mental note to remember these feelings when I'm next taking a literacy hour.


My third attendance as a new councillor at the parish council. I must be a sucker for punishment; more meetings that last far into the night, more difficult decisions to be made, but at least I now have the energy to contribute to the debates. We decide that we want to provide something for young people in the community and discuss ideas for playgrounds, skateparks and internet cafes.


I walk to school carrying a hard-boiled egg covered in feathers, nestling in a basket of twigs. This little chick is our entry in the school Easter egg competition, and with Daddy helping this year I am confident of success. Then to the dreaded gym. My instructor encourages me when I want to give up but eventually I reach my targets. I make another mental note. I feel so fit that I celebrate with a big breakfast. Exercise and appetite seem to go together.


Financial considerations mean I can't enjoy this lifestyle forever so I pick up a copy of The TES and scour the job ads. Still, I think I'm learning more about myself and about teaching from being outside rather than in the classroom. I mingle with the mothers at the school gates. I think I'm gaining acceptance, as I swapped a recipe last week. My son runs out to meet me. We didn't win the egg competition, but we manfully swallow our disappointment and pick up a couple of Creme Eggs on the way home. To the gym again on Monday.

Paul Warnes lives in West Malling, Kent. If you have a diary you would like to share, write to TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email We pay for every article we publish

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