Thank God it's Friday

21st October 2005 at 01:00
Monday Second week of term. Very peculiar indeed not to be in school with newly-written markbook and feelings of optimism for the year ahead. Contact Eteach to confirm I am "live" on their system and query why I have not received an ID badge. Check education vacancies on East Riding website.

Clean bathroom and living room.

Tuesday Attend interview at Jobcentre Plus (plus what?) regarding my claim for jobseeker's allowance. "So your last job was teaching," the unsmiling civil servant says, a curious form of words which I would not let my GCSE pupils get away with. It occurs to me that he is avoiding saying, "So you are a teacher," in order that he can suggest I try for Christmas work at MS. Begin canvassing local schools with my CV and covering letter. Clean kitchen and do ironing.

Wednesday Coffee with mother of two children in my son's class. She has a broken leg; her husband is unable to drive due to a medical condition. They farm, two miles down a single track road. Highlight of her week has been visit by attractive young policeman to investigate nuisance phone calls.

Decide she has more to put up with than I do. Friend confirms rumour that the headmistress of the village school had an affair over the summer with the husband of another member of staff. The school is tiny, with fewer than 50 pupils; both still work there. Decide that we are living in a Joanna Trollope novel.

Thursday Return to Jobcentre Plus in driving rain and low mist to sign on.

Bake son's birthday cake and assemble party bags. Realise how pleasant it is to have time to do such things. Vigorously agree with news article in which mother of young children says that part-time professional jobs are rare and hardly ever advertised.

Friday Scour TES for jobs; closest one is over 30 miles away and full-time.

Delighted to learn Ted Wragg agrees with my direct approach to schools.

House now immaculate. Decide next week I will have to do the cleaning that I never do: defrost freezer, tidy kitchen cupboards, shampoo disgusting living room carpet. Please God, let the phone ring instead.

The author is a secondary school teacher who lives in North Yorkshire. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 words), write to TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email friday@tes.co.uk. We pay for every article we publish

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