Phew – made it! This term has been one of my toughest, but as it ends, I’m proud of my class, and myself and our class TAs for all our hard work. I teach Year 3, and my class this year are That Class, the one that everyone knows and talks about. They can be utterly lovely, and are incredibly hard workers, but, let’s be honest, social skills are not their strong point. If we get through a day without someone failing to keep hands, body or objects to themselves it’s a miracle.
This has made my job very, very hard work this term, and I’ve had to change a lot of my own practice in response. My class sit in rows, facing the front, and everyone has a permanent seat – we don’t move for maths or literacy groups as most classes do. We have a script, and we stick to it: Year 3, pencils down, face the front. Year 3, attention please. Year 3, line up please: straight, silent, smart and sensible. It’s exhausting, not least because it’s unrelenting. They never stop. Ever.
But. It’s working. They are far more settled, they are learning, and in some strange way I’m loving the challenge of the hard work. I’m fortunate to have an incredibly supportive headteacher and KS2 team around me, who have been willing to make some changes to how we do things. Most of all I’m fortunate to have a great bunch of kids in my class, most of whom are patient and kind, even when we’ve all had enough of disruptive behaviour.
I’ve grown hugely as a teacher this term. I’ve had to think about everything I do, and consider how well it will work with this particular class. I’ve been pushed way outside of my comfort zone, working in a far more structured and strict way than I’m used to. It’s been a real struggle, both personally and professionally but by the grace of God I’ve been able to rise to the challenges. I’m certainly not the same teacher I was 15 weeks ago.
The most important thing, though, hasn’t changed. Like almost every teacher I know, I’m in this for the kids – first, last and everywhere in between.