Fri 9 Dec 2016. I did not get a call for work yesterday (Thursday) which in the end was no bad thing as I came down with a rotten cold. I went through dozens of tissues and constant headache tablets. I would not have been at my best. At 2pm I did get a call though for Friday in a school which was new to me. It was in an area of the city where I used to go out for Friday/Saturday nights out so I knew the area fairly well. It was for a Year 2 class. I usually love working Fridays as there is a different vibe in schools and there are often fun things to do.
I was let in through the gate at 8am by someone who turned out to be one of my TAs that day. The teacher was in getting ready for a course she was going on. Bless her, she had prepared all of the work and interactive whiteboard slides. The bummer was that she wanted me to do a reading comprehension test with them and to give them an hour to do it. She warned me the children would probably be tired as they had 2 Christmas performances the day before. When the TA came into the room and heard what we were going to do she called the teacher cruel to be leaving this work (laughing)!
It turned out to be a really nice day. The class were great and tried very hard with the test. It was obvious that many struggled with it and I used my judgement to stop it after a certain length of time. For the rest of the day we did some practical work like Art and some Christmas activities in a workbook. There was also an assembly at the end of the day where parents were allowed to come in and watch. I like it when schools do this. They were able to because they had a huge hall and this is a 1-class intake.
I stayed for a long time marking the assessments. The teacher was mortified because she didn’t expect me to do them and she wanted to go home; but I laughed and said just go, don’t feel guilty! In the end I was done by 4.20pm. I would have finished sooner but I had a long chat with her, just chit chat really. She made the school sound very friendly. And it was! The TAs were lovely and very supportive of the 2 SEN children in the class. The teacher also told me that every Friday the whole lot of them go to the pub round the corner at lunch time! I haven’t done a lunch time pub escape since I first taught in my original school many years ago. She also said there was a job going and I should maybe apply for it but at the minute there was another supply teacher who was taking that class. This man also came to chat with me at about 4pm. He clocked on that I work for the same agency as him and he was asking me all about the work I’ve been getting. It’s not very often I see other supply teachers and certainly not always from the same agency as me. It’s good and reassuring to know that people are going through the same things as I am. This teacher told me he has been doing a long term placement here since September but he is not applying for the full time job so he was unsure of how much work he was going to get in the new year.
As I finally left, I realised that every single member of staff had gone except for the cleaners. I couldn’t sign out and there was nobody to be seen. In the darkness of the playground I realised that I had no fob to unlock the electronic keypads on the gates. Nobody could hear me knocking on the school door. I envisaged climbing over the car park wall (!) before I finally found a pedestrian gate unlocked round the back. Yikes!