"It is even odder to expect anyone less than expert to be a supply teacher, as this is one of the most demanding jobs in education," he said. I underlined it and then, over-egging the pudding as ever, I highlighted it. I went home last Friday, head held high, self-esteem bursting out of every pore and a spring in my step not witnessed since handing my uniform to the Quartermaster for the last time.
Professor Ted I could kiss you - well, metaphorically anyway - I can now justify the quiet arrogance I feel: knowing hat as the "oddjob man" of the education system I am an expert and "an ace".
Having the "the power of the weak" as AJP Taylor once described it, is also a bonus - I can now wait for Tony Blair to call me. "'H' - just dash down to St Kevin's for the day, they're short of an A-level physics teacher - doesn't matter if you are an arts man, we know you can manage, thanks very much."
You made my day. No more skulking in the staffroom, I now look them all in the eye and demand the recognition I deserve.
Meanwhile, I will get on and patent my latest idea to ease the teacher shortage. It involves going round all the retirement homes on the south coast and ....
10 Valley Road, River