It’s the 7am alarm going off and I am up and about, ready for the work day ahead. Today I am working in a primary school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, a school I have been working in for the past two days. I have planned the week and yesterday after the children went home, I made sure that all the resources were ready and had a discussion with the wonderful teaching assistant for the class, making sure that I was following the planning that had been provided for me by the class teacher. Having planning left is not always the case, especially if a class teacher is off work ill, so I am very lucky.
7.45am I arrive at the school and make sure that the classroom tables are ready, any sheets are photocopied and that the interactive whiteboard is prepared as there are several websites and powerpoints that I will be working on with the children today. Again a discussion with the teaching assistant about the rules that the children are to follow and rewards and sanctions and then I join the staff for the team meeting that is held daily. Some of the class are going swimming out of school this afternoon and some are attending a drama class so I need to work my day around this to ensure that English and Maths are taught.
At 8.45 the children arrive. There are nine in the class, eight boys and one girl, a mixture of Year 4 and Year 5. They are amazing children, three of whom are in foster care. The children start the day by attending a running club and then have breakfast with each other and myself and the teaching assistant. All of the children have been excluded from mainstream education and have a statement of education for emotional and behavioural difficulties. Each one of them can provide very high levels of challenging behaviour and each one of them has one or more talents that this wonderful school make sure are developed to their potential. One boy is very talented at football, another is gifted in Maths. The one girl in the class excels at drama. All of them need very strong boundaries for every second of the day and yes, it can be exhausting but it is extremely rewarding and all of the children want to talk and want to learn.
After a short dinnertime where I eat with the children I have a quick cup of coffee and then make sure that all the resources for the afternoon are ready. The children tend to work better in the mornings so I teach English and Maths then and less formal lessons in the afternoon.
3pm and the buses and taxis arrive to take the children home to the different parts of the authority that they live in. Each child politely says goodbye after a very productive day and I escort them on to their transport. I have had a wonderful day and now return to the classroom to plan the next day with the teaching assistant, mark the work and set up the daily individual rewards card for each child for tomorrow. I am teaching the class for this week whilst their teacher is on a course and I am looking forward to another challenging but rewarding day tomorrow.