Schools went back, yesterday, after a fortnights holiday for Easter. Gning went in to his class with a big smile on his face, happy to be with all of his classmates again. Donut, on the other hand, wasn’t able to return to nursery, as he is having belly problems again. The earliest he can go back is tomorrow, as schools & nursery settings have a 48hr no-return policy after a final bout of diarrhoea or vomiting. It’s a shame, as he’s quite taken to another little boy in his nursery school, and all over the Easter break, he’s been “talking” on the phone to this boy… Pretend, of course, as we don’t actually have his phone number. I am starting to be concerned though, as I’m sure there must be an underlying problem with his stomach somewhere, due to the amount of times he suffers with diarrhoea.
A couple of months ago, I successfully completed both a teaching assistant, and an EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage – children ages 0 to 5) advanced teaching qualification. It’s completely different to my experience in work, as I’ve always done some form of administration role – typist, receptionist, secretary, personal assistant, telephonist; and after departing my role of a telephonist of 8 and a half years, last July, I decided that I no longer wanted to be “the voice” of a company, and I wanted to work face-to-face with people. Not any type of people though – children.
It was hubby, dearest, who gave me a push, by purchasing the two online courses for me. He said that I should give it a go, as I’ve always had a bit of a knack for working with children and younger people (over 15 years experience in working with the aforementioned, teaching martial arts). So, I sat down, when the boys were in bed, and I studied. I completed a (super thick) journal with all of my notes, and then reviewed them the following day, before starting another module of the course. The next thing you know, I’m “sitting” the exams, and I passed both with a Higher Distinction (97.5% on both exams).
The next question was, “what am I going to do with my new qualifications..?”
I immediately started job searching, for teaching assistant, nursery assistants, and EYFS teachers, however, all positions required a minimum amount of experience set within a learning environment. None would accept my experience of teaching martial arts, as it’s not considered “academic”.
I had a thought. I should push my luck, and send several emails off to local nurseries, asking if they would be interested in “hiring” me as a volunteer. They wouldn’t have to pay me a penny – not even for expenses. I explained my predicament, and asked if I could attend the setting for just a couple of hours per week, so I could gain the valuable experience that I required. I only heard back from one nursery, and they stated that they wouldn’t be able to offer me any form of positions, as it wouldn’t be fair to the children… They further mentioned that “children do get attached to staff members, it would be a shame if the children got attached to me, only for me to leave when I had the relevant experience, if they couldn’t offer me a paid job”. I was a little disheartened, but not upset, as I completely understood where they were coming from.
So, I decided to try a job search again, and I stumbled upon a posting from a teaching supply agency, for a “Behavioural Support Assistant”. It was temporary only, but did not require any school-based experience – only some experience in working with children. Fantastic! This was my chance… And I applied for the job.
The following morning, I received a phone call from the agency, apologising that the posting had been offered to someone else that morning, but there was another post that I may be interest in. He seemed really interested in me, however, the conversation ended when I confirmed that I have no experience in a school setting. I thanked him for his time, and ended the call. Not ten minutes later, I received a phone call from the same number… I was expecting some sort of “survey”, but it was a female voice this time.
The voice explained that she had overheard my previous conversation (from the mans end), and said that I would be a perfect candidate to register with the agency, under the Extra Support category – which basically deals with students who have behavioural problems; and my martial arts and counselling background was more beneficial to me than my teaching qualifications… For now.
The following week, I went in to the agency to register my details. I met the female “voice”, and we were in the interview room for over an hour. She was intrigued by my background, and said she would get to searching for an opening for me as soon as the Easter holidays were over.
Fast forward to yesterday. It wasn’t just the boys who went back to school.
I received a phone call from a male voice, at about 10am, asking if I was free that afternoon. He explained that a school, close to me, needs someone to supervise an exam, and if I would be interested to go in. It didn’t take me long to accept the position, and he said it was a “simple” job, that would start my experience… I was to be an “Exam Invigilator”; where I simply sit in the room of students, sitting the exam, and make sure there is no talking, cheating, etc., and to hand out any equipment necessary (rules, calculators, pens, etc.). We finished the conversation, and ended the call.
For the first time in my life, going in to an unknown setting, I wasn’t nervous in the slightest. The students were all really lovely, and were all well behaved – raising their hands when they needed something, and all said please and thank you. The only strange thing was, was that they all called me “Miss”! That’s going to get a bit to get used to. I came out of the school, yesterday afternoon, with a big smile on my face.
I had only been home from the school for half an hour, when I received another phone call, from the same male voice from that morning, stating that the school had asked for me to return this afternoon, to oversee another exam… I was only in the school for 2 hours, and I’ve already made an impression.
What can I say? I’ve currently only worked 2 hours, and I love my job.