I knock quietly on the Master teacher’s staffroom door but there’s no answer. They don’t like to be disturbed at lunch time, but my lesson starts in ten minutes and there is a page missing on my script. I don’t know how to fill it.
I was late to work today which is bonkers. All our apprentice staff caravans are less than two minutes’ walk away so we can be on hand to welcome the children at 7.30am and check uniforms, but literally the door to my caravan was stuck and I had to yell for ages until someone came and let me out. At least they give us accommodation I guess. On £3.50 an hour, we can’t afford to live anywhere else.
I look at the script. It’s hard to deviate when you don’t really have the subject knowledge you need and I can’t really fill in the gap. Don’t get me wrong – I did do A level – but they’ve changed the syllabuses so much and I worked for five years before I decided to do the HLA route – how many of us remember what we learned five years ago eh? That’s why they have the masters. They’re graduates, earn more and teach less because they write all the lessons. But schools only employ them as Heads of Department or else they’re too expensive. They come straight from uni many of them. And that blocks our promotion prospects too.
I’m not complaining. The kids are good and compliant. Not like those down the road in the work units. The ones with conditions and stuff. Proper schools don’t take those kids any more. I heard it used to be a nightmare, planning for different needs. Now we just deliver the same to everyone, nice and simple.
There’s been a massive increase in private schools, of course. Not everyone wants this for their kids. But there’s a lot of choice these days. EasySchools that just deliver Maths and English on a budget. Then there’s VirginEd – middle of the road stuff. Bit like the comp I used to go to but it’s £4000 per year. And of course, the old private schools. The ones where there’s still sport and arts and the like.
I’m not sure I’ll stay in this job. There’s something coming up in a cafe down the road soon. Short hours, better pay. But this will do for now.
I wonder if I should knock a little louder.