This week has been a rollercoaster of events and emotions. The week started with a trip to Ilford to meet with yet another Teaching Agency followed by a similar trip to Brentwood straight after to meet with one there. I arrived in Brentwood with 2 hours to spare so I walked to Sainsbury’s with the aim of getting some food. Before I had even set foot inside the store I had a phone call from the guy I met with in Ilford, how did I fancy 4 days’ work this week starting tomorrow? The job sounded good, it was not too far away and he offered me good pay. I accepted the job and called one of my ex colleagues who was going to need to do my reference as quickly as possible so everything could be finalised before 5pm.
I had no idea what I would be teaching but I was looking forward to it.
I arrived at the school before I was due to arrive and went in to find the Deputy Head. She was happy to see me and showed me the room I would be teaching in. The room was nice and big but was quite dull, smelt of paint and had 4 computers just sitting on the side all unplugged. I was then handed the largest bunch of keys ever and was told to make sure the doors were locked at all times.
I was introduced to more staff as they arrived, mostly TA’s (Teaching Assistants) or HLTA’s (Higher Level Teaching Assistants). There was a SENCo and several other support staff. There was one other Teacher, he was teaching the year 10’s and I was teaching the year 11’s.
The way I plan my lessons and what I take into a classroom had to be completely different from what I have become accustomed to. Anything could end up as ammunition; this meant I was definitely not going to put my Holborn Filofax in jeopardy when even a whiteboard marker will be damaged and used recklessly. This week I therefore used my Holborn to write in my first day’s lessons at the end of the day so I knew what we’d done and then made some notes for the next day on their pages. Usually I would have my lesson plans open on the desk in front of me but this week I just had to get all the resources out and lay them out before the students arrived, at least if they threw the resources around they could just be reprinted.
Rather than having a selection of ICT lessons across the day to plan, all at different levels, I had to plan a variety of different subjects at different levels that would keep the attention of the least enthusiastic student. After all, I was Lead Teacher for the entire week.
Not once in the entire 4 days did I have to raise my voice. I know there are a lot of people who would not want to work with this sort of student and a lot that would make them worse. I realise now this is why I was praised so much during the week and I need to seriously look at more positives about how I work than things which are in many ways still haunting me from negative people I have worked with in the past. I also want to develop my curriculum knowledge in other subjects so that I can support and guide my students better. Rome wasn’t built in a day and these students didn’t arrive in this position over night, they have 5 months roughly until they leave school and either get a job or go to college. I hope in those 5 months they can achieve the things they need in order to turn things around for themselves. In the same 5 months I am setting myself the goal of achieving the things I need to in order to go in the direction I want to in my career and also life. Smart goals reached by celebrating every small achievement along the way.