I had planned on doing one more year as a teacher trainer and then retire. I love my work; I never cease to be amazed at the enthusiasm and energy of those who choose to become primary teachers; many give up other jobs in order to teach. The journey towards becoming an effective teacher is demanding but fulfilling and it has been a privilege to travel that road with many hundreds of people.
I was having coffee with a good friend who has just taken over the headship of a primary school which has had a troubled and challenging past. As a joke I offered to be a teaching assistant when I retired – that throw-away comment has resulted in my life changing! From September 2016 I am going to be teaching two days a week in a Year 1 classroom and after Christmas I will be teaching for three days a week. In addition I will be leading on literacy teaching across the school.
I have had the transition morning and met the class and my partner teacher. All were lovely. I am so excited – there is a lot to do because the children could achieve so much more than they do and the reading and writing experiences offered in the school could be much more relevant and motivating. I am going to be busy.
While feeling really excited, I am also a little apprehensive. Will I still be able to manage a class of five and six year olds. I keep remembering things I thought I had forgotten – rhymes and songs, routines, organisational skills. It is all trickling back. The challenge is putting the principles of the big picture into day to day practice. Can I hold fast to my values and beliefs while raising standards in what counts today?
I would love to enter into conversation and debate as I write. Even if nobody reads this I will enjoy reflecting on my practice, relating and creating theory, celebrating achievements (the children’s not mine!) and sometimes shouting for help!
I will write every week starting in September. Watch this space!