I posted this on my facebook page and was surprised by the response I got, so thought I'd share it here and see if others are thinking the same thing! Had a request recently in an email (from a job website) to teach in a school in Monmouthshire! Although I do have a canoe I resisted the urge to point out the difficulties in commuting across the Bristol Channel, but also decided to think about what, if anything,might get me back in the classroom. This is an edited version of my reply! Thanks for your email. I’m not sure to what extent it is genuine, but I don’t think I have sufficient command of the Welsh language to be any use to you. If you are serious about matching me to a teaching position then there are a number of things I would need to be reassured of before considering a post. I left teaching in 2015 with quite a loss of confidence in the education system. I am currently in full time work as a lorry driver and crane operator at present, so dipping in with a bit of supply here and there is not going to work, It would need to be at least a temporary full time post, and preferably permanent before I would consider leaving that employment. The school concerned would need to show that music was a bona fide priority, and not an optional extra. They would have a policy of never withdrawing pupils they consider ‘less able’ in core subjects from other subjects in which they showed an interest and ability in order to hammer home more language and maths tasks, compounding their feelings of failure and restricting their opportunity and ability to discover and nurture the skills and talents they were born with! They would have to show a realistic appraisal of what data is useful and formative in teaching, and not insist on the collection of endless test results and meaningless performance indicators. They would have to appreciate that many important things are not measurable and that pupils would benefit sometimes from a non-judgemental approach in which they can explore and develop understanding and skills appropriate to their own interests! They would need to see choirs, instrumental groups and other extra-curricular music activity as being at least as important as sports teams, if not more so, as they nurture the ability to function in a truly co-operative and mutually supportive environment in a non-competitive and constructive way. They would need to recognise the many hours I would be prepared to put into encouraging and developing individual and collective talent as a strong feature of the school’s planned provision, and not just something the music specialist does out of the kindness of his heart! This might need to be reflected in a reduced contact time, rather than enlisting me to teach French, RE or other subjects to make up the time! (Although I’m not saying that these aren’t very worthwhile and enjoyable subjects to teach!) And above all they would need to show that they truly value the efforts and achievements of all pupils and staff involved in such activity. They would need to support pupils with special needs, such as Autism or ADHD, in the classroom context in order that they can benefit and build confidence without undermining the quality of provision for themselves and mainstream children. Music is a subject that, with the right quality and quantity of pupil support, can be of such great benefit to supporting integration and inclusion, but that without it can so easily be sabotaged by inappropriate behaviour, especially in activities that involve the whole class working together on a performance. They would need to be committed to my professional development, recognising the daily practice required to maintain high standards of instrumental playing required to lead by example, and acknowledging the continuous rapid and radical changes in music technology that require constant updating and investment in both time and resources. Although my main strengths lie in the Classical and Traditional genres of music I am keen for pupils to be able to discover and pursue their own paths, which requires a very wide experience of more modern styles and techniques. If you think that there is a position available that might go a long way towards these priorities then please do let me know. I’m afraid I have become rather more pessimistic about it all, but I’m not one to sit at home and wallow! At least delivering building materials is literally a constructive thing to do in society! All the best, Rupert. The reply..... Hi Rupert Thanks for your e-mail. My e-mail did not mention a requirement to speak Welsh as this is an English medium school. Based on your comments below we will not be looking to put you forward for this role. Thanks Dave H....... "It's time to love Mondays" Probably very wise!