18 June 2007
I'm working in a primary school at the moment on a voluntary/relief basis, preparing for a lifetime of education, just to give you a smidge of context.
Today was the day that the literacy training was rescheduled following its postponement from the inset days at the start of this half term. Sue had asked me to provide cover from 11.30am – 3pm, but AK was off sick again, so I'm going to claim for the whole day. The day started with Lauren in charge of the class who were surprisingly badly behaved compared with normal. Usually when Lauren's in they are well behaved. I tend to put that down to the novelty and the fact that she uses the interactive whiteboard a lot more, which they enjoy. Today they were badly behaved, disinterested, noisy and ignored lots of instructions.
I had found out that the plan was for them to have two PE sessions today; one for the whole class from 11.30am – 12pm, and then two sessions in the afternoon. During this time I was going to take the other half of the group for numeracy – practising adding on 10 because the class have had such trouble using the concept of adding 9 by adding 10 and taking 1.
Rachel (Tuesday morning voluntary TA) arrived at 11.15am, which was a pleasant surprise because I didn't know I was going to have any help! That was the point that I calmed down enough to do some planning.
I kept some of the children from AM PE because of their bad behaviour. While Rachel and I were getting them changed for PE they were quite noisy, and when Sue came in and had to tell them all off, I felt a bit like I was being told off for not managing them better.
I didn't worry about it too much – nothing I can do retrospectively apart from learn from it! Working with Rachel was fun – she was very supportive and strict when necessary. It's always a little strange when you see and hear someone telling children off when you've only seen them being really friendly before – but it certainly made me feel much better about how I was handling them, and I think we made a good team. It certainly felt we had a good awareness of what was happening in the classroom, and there was only one occasion when I told a child to do the opposite of what Rachel had just told him to do!
I feel tired but quite pleased with how the day panned out. Rachel commented at the end of the day about how calm I had seemed throughout – which was great, especially as I'd had a couple of moments when I didn't know what I was going to do next! Before they went to PE for the first time I managed to get them all sitting in silence (this followed their dressing-down from Sue!) After about a minute of silence, I thought to myself "Now what?"
We had a couple of games of 'heads down, thumbs up' before lunch, which had a surprisingly calming effect on them. It's a good one to remember, because it involves a lot of sitting very quietly and keeping still. I had thought that a good run around at playtime would chill them out, but it doesn't. They come back in all hyped-up and not at all tired. A sit down and a story seem much more effective. And I'm pretty partial to both of those things!
I don't think there is any more training tomorrow, but AC is doing moderation for the KS1 SATS so will be out of the class for possibly the whole time. It's not quite clear. AK should be back in though, and according to the timetable I am expected to be in Diamond Class with Lauren. I think I'll try and get in really early, so that I can get any work sorted out and still be able to be in the right place at the right time.
Funny how I don't begrudge leaving home at 7.30am to help out at school, but would have HATED to do that at the council. Or any previous job for that matter. Perhaps it's because I enjoy it so much more, and because people are so grateful. And it's fun!
More training is scheduled for Friday, and I think the idea is to follow the same plan (Über-PE!).