Swings and Roundabouts

Right. It may have come to your attention (or rather it probably hasn’t) but I haven’t written a blog for absolutely bloody ages. And it’s definitely not because nothing has been happening – life certainly is progressing full steam ahead round these parts of late…

Just over two months ago the lovely lovely boy asked me if I would marry him. It wasn’t entirely a surprise but I had no idea he was going to ask when he did. Of course I said yes and seeing as it was the school holidays at the time I spent pretty much every waking hour looking at wedding websites and had a date set and venue booked within 2 weeks! So almost a year to the day after we got engaged we’ll be getting married at a lovely hotel in the Lake District. Preparations are continuing apace – I’ve even done some dress shopping although I don’t think I’ve found ‘the one’ yet.

As if getting engaged wasn’t exciting enough, a week later we also decided to buy a house. My flat wasn’t even on the market but it was a bargain and exactly what we wanted so we just decided to go for it. Unfortunately the housing market isn’t working quite so much in our favour as far as selling the flat goes but hopefully we won’t be stuck with it for too long. If it comes to it we can always rent it out but I’m kind of hoping it’s not going to come to that. The one benefit to the fact that it’s looking very unlikely we’ll sell the flat before we get the new house is that at least we aren’t under any pressure to move everything on one day. We’re moving during the summer holidays which will make things easier. And speaking of school holidays we come to the less positive aspect of life at the moment…

I am now just three weeks away from completing my probation year as a teacher and I have achieved everything I need to to become a fully registered teacher. I am lucky that I live in Scotland where the government runs a teacher induction scheme which guarantees a teaching post for everyone who successfully completes a teacher training course. However, what the government doesn’t seem to have is any sort of plan as to what will happen to these teachers after they have completed their probation year. Quite simply there are far more jobs than teachers. In these current tough economic times teachers aren’t taking early retirement at the rate that was predicted and over the last 5 years or so the government vastly over-estimated the number of teachers the country would need and so allowed many more people on to PGDE and B.Ed courses than was needed.

For me the problem is compounded by the fact that in recent years many schools have taken the decision to allow pupils to stop studying a modern language after two years of secondary school, further reducing demand for language teachers. This means that some schools have teachers who are now surplus to the needs of their school but as the council has employed them on a permanent contract they are obliged to find them a job elsewhere. This leads to teachers on temporary contracts finding themselves without a job as they are replaced teachers on permanent contracts subject to a compulsory transfers. 

On top of all this Spanish is rapidly overtaking French as the language of choice in Scottish secondary schools and although I’ve been learning Spanish myself since February I’m certainly not going to be in any position to teach it for a good few years yet. What all this means, for me and for many other probationers, is that I am three weeks away from being a fully qualified, unemployed, teacher. The last time I wrote a blog I had just submitted my application for a permanent post to the council. I had an interview towards the end of April and then after a long wait I finally found out this week that although my application was successful there is a ‘lack of appropriate vacancies’. I am able to sign up for the supply teaching list but that’s certainly no guarantee of regular work or indeed any work at all. I’m going to keep looking, the councils round about are advertising new vacancies almost daily and I just have to hope that something suitable will come up – and that I can beat all the other people out there looking for jobs. 

But the simple fact remains that if it comes to the start of the school year here in August and I still haven’t managed to find a teaching job then I’m just going to have to get a job doing something else. With a up coming wedding and a new house I just can’t afford not to work. Which sucks. And above all it just seems like a big fat waste of my time, the time of my university lecturers and the time of the great teachers who have supported me through the last year. Not to mention the cost to the Scottish government of training all these teachers who are possibly never going to teach in Scottish schools. It’s a bloody crazy state of affairs. And one that I have been stupid enough to put myself in the middle of.

One thought on “Swings and Roundabouts

  1. Some exciting news and some not so exciting news. I hope everything turns out in you favour – you deserve lots and lots of happiness. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *