There's been some talk in the news lately about problems recruiting teachers – which never seemed to be much of a problem for the Chalet School, except in Gay
, but times were different then. Would being a Chalet School mistress have been a good job?
Positive things – job security (except for nasty matrons), unlimited sick leave and compassionate leave, friendly working environment, opportunity to travel, accommodation and meals included, relaxed working conditions (no red tape, OK to abandon lessons in nice weather), long summer holidays, probably better paid than alternative options,.
Negative things – lack of personal space and privacy, being with colleagues and pupils 24/7, doesn't seem to be much time off, isolated location, limited opportunities for promotion, school authorities resistant to new ideas. (And having to teach in three languages, but presumably you wouldn't have got the job if you weren't up to that.)
I think the lack of personal space would have done my head in, but, on the other hand, it does seem to be a genuinely caring environment. No-one even minds when Rosalie goes off to the South of France with Evvy, during term-time, after she's been ill
. Not everyone finds it easy to live alone, or to be an adult still living with parents/guardians, which might have been the alternatives. And getting a job in Austria or Switzerland must have been a big adventure at a time when opportunities for foreign travel were very limited for most people.