Friday, September 07, 2007

Big Issue?

It’s all change this year, I’m the cover teacher for PPA (that’s planning, preparation and something else I can’t quite remember) so I get to travel round different classes. It saves on supply costs and the children are taught by a face they know, rather than a succession of different teachers. The position of ‘cover teacher’ is on the increase, most headteachers don’t want the stress of teaching alongside all the other pressures of the job.

The morning assembly and all the children are there resplendent in their new school uniforms; those tattered cuffs, holed trousers and scuffed shoes have been consigned to the bin. At break time the infants are staring at the bare wooden structure for the Japanese garden, I tell them it’s a base for my rocket to the moon, ‘Yeah, whatever’.

As the teachers are settling their new classes in I start the long delayed PE audit – sponge balls, small balls, plastic balls, large balls, hockey balls, cricket balls… the more discerning reader may have spotted a pattern here.

When Year 1 starts queuing for dinners I distract them with the puppet I’ve found in one of the boxes, ‘have you met my pet cow Ermintrude?’ ‘He’s a puppet, we can see your hand in the back!’ Children, no imagination today.

Some of my old class are worried that, ‘I’m not a proper teacher anymore’. Katie thinks I’m looking lost. There are swings and roundabouts with the job – no assessment, planning, reports, parents’ evenings, SEN reviews; on the other hand you lose that close connection with one class and the supply teacher is the one that children will ‘try it on with’.

It’s strange not having a base to work from and I’m threatening to sell ‘The Big Issue’.

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