Thank God it's Friday

2nd June 2006 at 01:00
MONDAY Supply teaching for FE pays about pound;50 a day after tax, but I have nothing else booked, so go along to a local college to teach drama.

I'm shocked by the lazy bunch of dullards who say: "I want to be an actor, but I don't want to learn lines nor noffink." One, who turns up late stinking of cannabis, says she is "trying for Rada". They are incapable of studio discipline, but are locked into a narcissistic quest for fame.

Somebody has been doing some acting, though, as this college has just received a glowing Ofsted report.

TUESDAY Having been told by the supply section of my local council that a teacher with my experience is worth pound;143 a day, I happily accept a booking from them in the leafy suburbs. "These kids are arrogant," snarls the cover supervisor as she leaves me to it but, at the same time forgets to tell me where I can find the work left by the absent teacher. I "improvise" through the morning of two classes. At break, the supervisor says the work set is in "this drawer here" - which makes the afternoon simpler. By the end of the day she smirks: "Well, was that a sobering experience for you, then?" She's seen my CV. I worked as an actor for 10 years, something many seem to resent. I get home to find a letter from the council. I am to be paid as an unqualified teacher for today, as my qualification is a PGCE FE. My take-home pay will be pound;36.50. Decide to stick to the main supply agencies as I prefer their honesty.

WEDNESDAY I have a part in a television commercial and make more money in a day than I've made in a year as a teacher.

THURSDAY A happy day working on a PhD proposal, based on my MA research. A childhood pal calls. She teaches drama at a private school, is on pound;40,000 a year, 16 weeks' holiday, with a house and healthcare thrown in.

How is my life? I advise her to fry slowly in the bowels of hell; she practises a satanic cackle.

FRIDAY I get a booking to adapt and direct a classic text for a good university for a fee of pound;1,650. I've done this sort of thing for four universities and hope I'm getting a good reputation. I settle down happily to read the text and try to ignore the part of my brain that asks... "Where is your security?"

The writer, who wants to remain anonymous, is a supply teacher in Manchester. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 words), write to TES Friday or email friday@tes.co.uk. We pay for every article we publish

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