Pity the Poor Parsnip Packer

Soon we will be held tight in the five-fingered clutch of a whole working week. As much as that is dreaded, my gloom at the thought of an impending return to work is always tempered by the thoughts of what could have been.

When first I graduated, I meandered through a succession of truly awful jobs: accidental death insurance salesman; city-centre sandwich-board wearer; and a rock-bottom pre-Christmas parsnip-packing stint. None allowed me to be creative; none gave any satisfaction; none created any sense of identity or belonging.

Teaching has brought with it all of those things and more. That is why, despite OFSTED, despite the workload, despite everything else we all sometimes moan about, I am not complaining about going back to school next week; it could be far worse, I could be packing parsnips.

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