Thomas. J. Templin with assistance from Kevin Bruce and Linda Hart

I 'm moving across very nicely which is what I want. The magical figure 40 looms — I made the decision when I first started teaching that there was no way I was just going to be a PE teacher at the age o f 40 because I had seen too often, women and men become stuck. I think there are people in our department that are becoming stuck and there was no way that I was going to be. That's why I started going towards the pastoral system. That's why I worked through that and now I 'm doing the second part o f my plan which is the other subject areas and then a deputy headship. (Kate, English, age 38) It seems the longer you stay in the fight the more dissatisfied you get and you can see the handwrit ing on the wall. Where I am right now — it's like I to ld you 7 years and I 'm out — I 'm going to try to get into something else. I 've been in the game 14 years and all my associates who have been in i t 30 years keep telling me it's getting worse not better ... i f I were allowed to teach, I wou ld not be thinking about 7 years and out — devoting a life long commitment to it, but it's so frustrating that you have to deal w i th your inner self. I don't want to lose any more self respect and dignity because o f it. (Sarah, American, age 40)

Levinson and his associates (1978) wri te o f the course and seasons o f a person's life and suggest that there exists a certain flow over time, 'the patterning o f specific events, relationships, achievements, failures, and aspirations that are the stuff o f life' (p. 6). They continue by stating that each season o f one's life cycle 'has its o w n time; it is important in its own right and needs to be understood in its o w n terms. ... Each has its necessary place and contributes its special character to the whole' (p. 7).