A few months ago Chalk Enterprises went through a bit of a bad patch, so in order to improve cash flow (ie avoid ending up on a park bench), I thought:
Why not go and do a couple of days a week on Supply? There's always lots of work and sometimes I do quite miss standing in front of a class talking to myself.
I phoned up St. Goodchilds and spoke to Mr Davis, a friendly man who still organises the Cover there. He told me that I would need a new CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau) before they could employ me in order to make sure that I wouldn't steal the tea money or take an over zealous interest in any of the pupils. When I asked how I could get one done, he informed me with a deep sigh that I couldn't do it personally, I would have to join an agency who would apply for one on my behalf.
I duly applied to the Council Supply Teaching Agency and filled out seven long pages of utter nonsense, none of which asked the only important question for anybody wanting to do Supply Work; which is:
Can you walk into a classroom full of unruly children running around causing mayhem, when there is no work left; they have had 4 different teachers in the last week and get them to sit down quietly and take their coats off?
A week later I received my reply. I had been rejected because I had not filled out the form correctly. I had not listed my 'O' and 'A' Levels, nor given sufficient evidence that I satisfied the Council's criteria for experience in diversity. Nor had I listed the courses that I would consider most useful to me. The fact that I had enclosed my teaching qualification (Maths) and had 14 years of teaching experience along with a reference which said that I wasn't the worst teacher they had ever employed, was apparently not good enough. Also, my answer of 'Please, please don't make me go on any courses' was considered inappropriate.
So now you have it. Next time you read of dire teacher shortages in my subject, console yourself with the thought that at least your offspring won't have me shouting at them. Mind you at least I never did this.
ps Chalk Enterprises is now back on its feet, you will be relieved to hear. If you were worried for me and were thinking of sending a donation to help out, then ignore this sentence and post the cheque to Dan the Publisher.