Thank God it's Friday

7th October 2005 at 01:00
Monday Inset day, and the first day in our new school. It's a beautiful building. When we talk about exciting approaches to a personalised curriculum, I miss the obligatory curmudgeonly old fart in the corner telling me "we did this all 10 years ago and it didn't work then". It's hot; not sure if the air conditioning works. Staff suffer lots of cardboard-cut injuries as we unpack glossy new resources. In the afternoon, shiny-cheeked students go home laden with the new uniform that's just arrived. I leave to the ricochet of a staple gun in the art corridor.

Tuesday Inset day two. I unpack a box left from the move into our new building; it is a perfect still life of a bowl of fruit, now very decomposed. I continue to unpack other boxes, including a jar of lizards (plastic). Narrowly avoid decapitating a colleague as we try to move shelves. It's still hot; still not sure if the air conditioning works. That night, I cut my "holiday" fingernails to a sensible length as I sip a cool glass of white wine.

Wednesday Our first "proper" day. All 184 Year 7s arrive. They look fantastic in their new uniform and, at last, the building comes alive. The registers aren't accurate. Lunch sees the first, but surely not the last, student covered in rice pudding. I consider offering a felt-making enrichment activity using the fluff from new sweatshirts found in the corridors. It's even hotter; will the air conditioning ever work? I finally open my post from the holidays and discover I'm on Inset tomorrow - Senco training.

Thursday Return from Senco training (where I learned that "all teachers are co-ordinators of educational needs; it's good to know you are special") to the first fire drill. Mr B and his form are trapped behind a locked gate:"We took the long way round." I struggle to set independent learning because I want to call it homework. Don't mention the air conditioning.

friday Countless lost locker keys. Countless lost cashless catering cards.

Countless lost Year 7s. We have formal photos in the courtyards later in the day: 'Will lessons always be like this, Miss?" Countless kids bounce out of school and the staff happily sip chilled water from the machine that arrived today.Who cares whether the air conditioning works over the weekend?

Jenny Sutton Kirby is assistant head at a school in Gloucestershire. If you have a diary to share (of no more than 480 words), 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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