Sammy by Matthew Mitchell

Sammy is an experienced primary school teacher from southern England. Having taken a new job on a temporary contract earlier this year, here she reflects on her new school’s response to the Covid shutdown.

"I am an 'old as the hills' variety teacher. I trained in a federation of schools [in the south] and I worked at one school for 18 years. I traded it all in January for a more balanced work-life. Boy, do I wish I hadn’t.

"So, I took a Year 6 teaching post in January this year at a one form entry school. The contract was temporary, but the head teacher assured me in an email that it was almost certain to be extended to a permanent position.

"The following month, the assistant head told me that a student teacher who would be joining my class a few weeks later had already been promised the Year 6 post for next year. She didn’t blink once as she told me this. So, I contacted the head expressing my concerns over my post for September and she literally reassured me not to worry.

"In the first week of the lockdown, the headteacher emailed me to tell me that she was putting up a job advert for a temporary post for a September start and she was expecting the school’s three temporary teachers to apply for it. I thought it was quite strange; in effect she was telling me that my chance of the permanent job was gone. Guess who got the permanent job? It wasn’t me.

"Whilst many head teachers are doing the right thing by extending temporary teacher’s contracts, my head teacher effectively put two people out of work for September, in week two of lockdown.

"I’m not sure how things will really change after Covid but I can tell you how it has changed the way I feel about some human beings. Many of them suck.”


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