Thank God it's Friday

5th May 2006 at 01:00
MONDAY A week's holiday. I won't wallow in the pit of corduroy-lined despair that is a teacher association conference. I'll explore life: pay those bills I've left on the kitchen table for weeks, book the car in for an MOT, have a haircut and crack on with the "to do" list my wife likes to write for me each holiday.

But I don't have a good start. I have to nip into school to catch up on emails and chase builders. I also have to shortlist for a job. The grind of 60-odd applications is lightened by the odd gem: one says that they work in an "effluent" area. Another writes about their fascination with 20th-century American conspiracy theories. All I can picture is someone holed up in the backwoods, waiting for the postie to deliver the latest copy of Guns Ammo magazine.

TUESDAY Our deputy's doing the NPQH (Negligible and Pointless Qualification for the Hassled?). We chat about evidence, and she's now composing a dossier on how she turned around the school: it reads like Grace Darling meets Lara Croft.

WEDNESDAY To London for a job interview and maybe a move into wider school effectiveness. Just think: no budget, no building hassle, no PPA, no climbing on the roof to retrieve a shoe for a reception child. Better pay.

THURSDAY I start planning for next term. Thematic working comes into its own with my swimathon-basketball-data-analysis-sports-report-writing project for Year 4. That'll look good on the self-evaluation form. I tie up loose ends, such as getting our caretaker to sort out the lock on the door to class 14 without his giving me chapter and verse about how life was easier when all he had to do was avoid sniper fire in the Falklands.

Working with him has honed my negotiation skills to the level of an FBI hostage negotiator. Perhaps there's a job for me there?

FRIDAY We visit my mum and take her out for a spin in her new wheelchair. I fashion a walking stick holder for it from Velcro, the cap from a tin of hairspray and tape. This puts me in mind of a DT project, a money-making project where Year 6 work with the elderly. "Wheelchair and Zimmer Kwik-Fit".

I decide to withdraw from day two of the London interview. I like being a headteacher and I'd miss the children; their singing "Conkers" in September and their smiles when they receive their five-metre swimming badge. Back to work next week, when I'll need to sort out maternity cover and avoid sports day clashing with arts week. How about an "art and sport week"? I devise the Graffiti Sprint (vandalise a fence while avoiding an Asbo). It will be good to be back.

The writer, who wants to remain anonymous, is a headteacher in the Midlands. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 words), write to TES Friday or email We pay for every article we publish

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