The wise Yorkist Ian60 started a thread, below, by asking whether there are fewer ads here this year. I've no idea, and would like to know - can one of the moderators provide hard data? If it is so, I'm equally unsure whether it's that recruiters are deserting the old lady or that there are fewer teachers on the move - bit of both? But let's venture an opinion on the 'first come, first served' notion. Do early bird recruiters devour all the most succulent worms? I don't think so for a moment. Certainly there's a month or so when Heavy Hitters from sexy parts of the world go a-hunting while the rest of us can only watch. Striding into the thronged hiring fairs touting bulky 'packidges' and glorious work-and-play conditions, they receive truckloads of applications. If they play their cards right, they should come up with the pick of the bunch. But delusion, prejudice and plain stupidity are not unknown in SMT and even SLT circles, so they miss lots of tricks, leave many superb teachers on the market, and hire their fair share of lemons. And good applicants are so numerous that even if Bangers and Do-Buy were astute enough to cream off the entire top three per cent, there'd still be plentiful pickings for a dilatory Dude. It's just like admission to the ancient unis of Dave C's foggy fiefdom. I've watched dozens of bright bunnies try this, and as a lifelong sixth form teacher I'm much better than the A-level examiners (joke) or the dreamy Dons when it comes to distinguishing between the very good, the outstanding and the truly stellar. The Dons sit down first to the UCAS banquet, but manage to select the tastiest morsel only about half the time - many world-class students spurned, a lot of merely very good ones accepted. So yer Nottinghams, Exeters and Warwicks - and the London outfits where our Ruritanian alumni love to play - can relax. Oxbridge selection is hit-and-miss, and even were it 100% spot-on, there'd still be thousands of good 'uns left over. And of course not all the talent applies to the Cotswolds or the Fens in the first place. Our most recent 45-pointers chose, UCL, York, Bath, finding courses and environments to suit them. In just the same way, palm-fringed sands and bling-bedizened malls are not for every punter. Europe, Africa and the Americas have their fans too. Why, I've even heard of people wanting to teach in New Zealand. And strange though this will seem to one or two friends here, money is not everything to everyone in our noble profession. So April sees me flying very confidently to London for shopping, beer, opera and a few hours dozing while my deputy conducts searchingly brilliant interviews. Si monumentum requiris, circumspice, I intone, looking out of the window to the sungraced terrace where multi-talented colleagues, the majority hired in late springtime by yours truly, are enjoying delicious snacks and fresh coffee at their well deserved Monday morning break, while comparing notes on their weekend leisure activities in this loveliest of cities.