Thank God it's Friday

24th March 2006 at 00:00
MONDAY I've spent the first two days of half-term on my back after falling on ice. It feels as if I'm being punished for having such an easy first few weeks on my second teaching placement. Today I manage to go into college to see people and to use the internet, but the pain in my back means I can't concentrate. My fiance rings from Dorset where he's getting his car back on the road in preparation for his own teacher training next year. Amazing PGCE pal picks me up, drives me to her place, cooks me spaghetti and runs me a bath, reminding me what lovely people teachers are.

TUESDAY Valentine's Day and I'm flat out in bed missing lectures. My flat's a mess, more so as clothes and books are piled on my sofa and armchair at waist height so I don't have to bend over for them. I write to unsuccessful interview school, highlighting my disappointment in their decision to send a rejection letter instead of making the promised phone call I waited three days for. Doctor prescribes heavy-duty painkillers. I take the lot and am asleep by 9.30pm.

WEDNESDAY I wake up coughing and rasping. Start to plan lessons, but can't concentrate. I limp around the block for a while. Bored, bored, bored.

Tearfully chat to fiance who is also bored, bored, bored, but in Dorset. At least he can bend. In the evening I see an English teacher friend to discuss lesson plans for forthcoming interviews and to borrow DVDs. Wander home, slowly, around midnight.

THURSDAY I wake up in a cold sweat under layers of blankets. My throat is so sore, my back makes an extra effort to compete. I swallow prescribed pills and start to feel better, although relegate lesson planning to tomorrow. Go for short walk and come home with ice-cream, the cure-all.

Feel human again.

FRIDAY My fiance is coming home, albeit without car. I nearly finish Cold Mountain, which counts as lesson preparation for my Year 12s and so makes me feel better as I've done nothing else. Another PGCE friend pops by with cake and we read the TES jobs page and swap covering letter tips. Six lessons to plan and two days to do it. Feel better already.

Laura Jenkinson is a PGCE English student at Oxford Brookes University. 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 We pay for every article we publish

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