I shall continue with the same scoring system as before.

1: Location and facilities

2: Children

3: Senior management

4: Other members of staff

5: Parents

School C:

There was a gap of an old fashioned term between school B and school C.  During that time, whilst looking for more long-term work, I did supply teaching.  I never got a huge amount of work, but living cheaply, I managed to make it pay the bills.  I never actually sat down and did the sums, but I can’t imagine I was taking home any more than 1k a month.  Supply really is the bottom rung of the teaching ladder, and I really can’t imagine anyone, or certainly anyone of my age/stage, voluntarily deciding to do supply as their sole income.

1:  This was at a school in Brackley, about 15 miles away, and it took me about 25 minutes to get there/back.  It was an easy drive and I didn’t mind it.  The school itself was an odd mash of styles and eras.  It used to be the town’s old girls grammar school, but had been added and changed, unsympathetically over the years.  There were a number of badly placed staircases, and my main classroom was far away from the staffroom.  3/5

2:  Quite easy children here.  Many of the parents were educated/middle class, and a lot worked in the motorsport industry, as a number of the F1 teams are based locally.  Here was where I first encountered the unusual branch of Christianity, the Plymouth Brethren.  I never quite understood their exact views, but if asked to describe them, it would be a very conservative, male-dominated sect.  The women and girls uniformly wore long skirts, long hair and a hair covering.  The children in this class lacked training to start with, but were no real trouble.  5/5

3:  The (male – unusual in a primary school) deputy head was my Year 1 partner teacher on a part-time basis.  I found him, to my slight surprise, very easy to get on with and work with.  The actual head was an older lady, who retired the term after I left.  She was pleasant enough, but just like so many heads of average sized primary schools, generally uninterested in what went on lower down the school.  The head of KS2 was not well liked amongst other staff, but I never had any problem with her.  5/5

4:  Other members of staff, I’d struggle to fault.  Particularly those in my most immediate teams.  There were some teachers at the top end of the school who basically ignored me, but I never saw it as a deliberate snub.  It was more that our paths never crossed.  4/5

5:  Parents were generally very easy here.  I fell out with one mum late in the school year when, before school had even started, I watched through the window as her daughter pushed another child over.  I went out to remonstrate with the child, only to be accused of picking on her child and blaming her for something she’d not done…  Only thing was, I’d watched the kid do it.  4/5

Total Score:  21/25

School D:

1:  About a 10 minute drive, round the ring round.  So incredibly convenient.  The school was virtually a new build.  The classrooms were bright, large and modern, and had fancy things like under-floor heating.  AND I was very close to both the staffroom and the toilets!  5/5

2:  Again, quite easy children.  A mix of children from different socio-economic backgrounds, and quite a lot of EAL in the class, as well as additional learning needs.  The class certainly had their challenges, yet I enjoyed the lot of them and nailed some particularly good results that year.  5/5

3:  The head and deputy were faultless, but my KS1 team leader was a complete lunatic.  I genuinely believe she had some sort of borderline personality disorder.  She’d rant and rave about nonsense, as well as tell out and out lies to your face.  She once tried to tell me that someone had complained about me, but when I raised it with the head, it turned out to be a complete fantasy.  She made multiple attempts to bully and intimidate less experienced teachers on my team, and after my own bullying experiences, I was not going to have that.  On one occasion, she marched into my room, whilst I was teaching, and proceeded to start shouting at me.  I drove her out of the room, and followed her when she marched next door to attack the NQT.  An exchange of words was had, and I fetched senior management and complained.  At the end of the year, the head played a risky game of “who will break first?” with the loon, and the loon went off to be a SENCO at another local school.  To which we all added THAT school to the list of “Places I Will Never Ever Work At”.  4/5

4:  Again, uniformly great.  Yes, some I liked more than others, but there was no other member of staff there that I didn’t feel at least neutrally about.  5/5

5:  Some odd ones here, as well as some culture clashes.  I found some parents hard to communicate with, either through language barriers or just different expectations of education.  I was grilled a number of times by some parents as to why I’d only put “good effort” on their reports, rather than “excellent effort”.  Like I was the one who wasn’t working hard enough, as opposed to their lazy little toad. 😉  I also encountered my most difficult parent to date.  She was very clearly mentally ill, and was prone to aggressive and unpleasant outbursts almost at random.  And yet…  I quickly worked out her triggers, and she LIKED me!  In her eyes, every other member of staff, including my wonderful TA, were mini-Satan’s.  Yet I was her shining angel of joy.  3/5

Total Score:  22/25

School E:

1:  A 20+ minute drive away.  Pleasant enough in the light months, but unpleasant in the dark winters.  The school itself was probably a 1970/80s build, and my classroom was probably the least pleasant in the whole school.  It was dark, and had an over-hanging roof outside, so it got next to no natural light.  Everyone described it as a cave, and it really was.  Probably the least pleasant classroom I’ve had so far.  But on the plus, it was very close to other useful things like the staffroom, toilets and photocopiers.  3/5

2:  For the first time ever, I struggled to like the class.  There WERE lots of lovely children, but just enough irritating ones to really bring the whole thing down.  3/5

3:  Senior management…  I liked them tremendously AS PEOPLE.  But as useful managers, they were surprisingly hopeless.  My TA described one of them as “about as useful as a wet fart”.  Which summed them all up perfectly.  My most immediate manager was also quite hopeless and managed to get people’s backs up with minimal effort.  I never thought she was intentionally hopeless, just promoted too soon.  She could have done with a few more years of class teacher behind her first.  OFSTED are, I think, going to have some things to say about the management.  2/5

4:  Generally, I found the other staff to be fantastic.  I made some particularly good friends this academic year.  However, it’s a very cliquey place, and very much “if your face fits, great.  It it doesn’t, run away”.  I do think that “following what the popular crowd think/say” led to some misguided/bad decisions being made.  4/5

5:  A few difficult ones this year, but nothing too far out of my realms of experience.  The usual mixed bag.  4/5

Total Score:  16/25