Perhaps you're up late before your first day because you're busy finishing off the last drop of that good-luck-in-your-new-job whiskey. Perhaps you're making the finishing touches to the batch of 50 Marry Berry's Cupcakes you're going to give the staff. But perhaps you're thinking: What if my first day goes wrong?'
If you read this and have done all of these things then I give you permission to implode. However, before you do so consider your worth to educational science - you marvel!
I'm up early, trying to imagine why on earth I thought drinking last night was a good idea. Settling your nerves you say? Well don't worry, I heard that in every school there's a weekly AA meeting in the head teacher's office - ask them for details.
I look in the mirror. Is this a good time to be working out the definition of 'smart-casual'? It's only an INSET day after all, as long as I look better than the caretaker, I'm sure no one will notice. Shall I eat breakfast? Well, I'll look a little silly if I can't finish the welcome cake from the rest of the staff, I better give it a miss.
I think to myself, today is the start of a brand new future. New job. New attitude. I'm going to eat healthier and exercise more! Well then today should be the day I start cycling to work. If you don't get off to a good start you'll never end up doing it. Better leave early, give myself enough time to work out the directions en route.
Now...if the sun is over there then I must be going...in circles. I better get my phone out. "Ah great" It's out of battery. I knew I shouldn't have been scanning my Twitter feed for NQT horror stories to make myself feel better. Simple. "I'll ask in a shop." - I'm full of such great ideas, no wonder I became a teacher. I rush in. I pant in query. At the mention of the word 'school' they give me a worried look as if to say 'Thank god I didn't send my child to that local school'. Think. "I've got my charger!" Seriously now genius, save some of that brainpower for the CPD tidal wave INSET.
The phone has enough charge. Got clear directions on google maps. I can't help but think how people coped before mobile phones. Better get those 'brand new future' legs on, time's racing.
Bike. Bike. Bike. When they told me during teacher training to get to know the local area I did not think they meant a crime survey. Was I really in there that long? I mean it was only a couple of 'Top 10 things not to do on your first day' blogs. Think. Think. Think. I just read the most important thing is not to be late. I can't be late. It's just not the model practitioner I am. Run. Ok it's the first day of my new regime, I'll jog. Blimey these cupcakes are heavy, I'll walk fast.
If I don't change into my smart-casual clothes I can just about get in on time. I used to rock up in my gear during placement anyway so I'm pretty much a pro at the cycling look. Although I can't remember the sweat coming through my t-shirt quite like this. There just simply isn't any time. Walk up to reception (by now the fast walk is an all but distant memory.) I better check my 'First impressions checklist' while I'm going through the corridors. Ah I forgot I used that to try and get the shop keeper to write a map. Never mind, I pretty much knew it off by heart anyway. All I'm worried about is how long they've been waiting in the dark ready to surprise me and welcome me to the school. They'll wait a little longer, I got an outstanding on my 2nd placement after all.
I take one step into the hall. The eyes of a thousand disappointed teachers. Not disappointed at the INSET, disappointed at me, they must have got tired waiting and thought the fresh perspective I'm bringing would never come. As I walk further in, their faces become deeply perplexed. How can they be quizzical? I did 3 weeks in the school before the summer holidays. Don't scratch your head, I observed your maths lesson. Rolling your eyes at me? I saw the lack of differentiation in your starter! Why are you looking at my bare legs like that? At least I can engage in modelling during my gymnastics lessons. The staff just aren't who I thought they were. What a shame, we spent so much time together. Doesn't matter at least the head teacher has a smile on her face! Must be the great chats we had during my interview. I had so much to say about being able to cope with the workload of my first placement or how changed I was after an SEN lecture during university. I must have been inspiration incarnated.
I smile back at the head. I think we know each other enough to use the nickname I came up with over the holiday. But I wonder if the other staff would be jealous of our bond. Perhaps I shouldn't I would hate to give them a reason to dislike me on my first day. However much of a strength it was identified as being, I better stop reflecting on everything. I've not even got to the spare chair the head has left me at the front. My cheeks have barely touched the seat when the head says...
"Nice of the..." looking down at my body in lycra "Nice of the N.....QuTie to arrive on time." The room rumbles with giggles. I can't believe it, this is the scenario in all of those blogs I read on the way here. Last ditch attempt. Harness the power of Marry Berry and offer those lemon cakes. I rattle open the tin, point it towards the head and reveal Marry Berry's Eton Mess.