A day in the life

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
"I'm here by eight, checking emails. At 8.15 I go to a morning briefing for all staff in my hall.

I am currently acting as a tutor, so after that there is tutor group registration. Otherwise, I'd pick up anything that needs a senior member of staff, such as parents arriving off the cuff. Or, because I have cross-campus responsibility, I might see people about special needs issues.

Then there are lessons. I teach 16 lessons a week - including five Year 11 science lessons, and two A-level psychology lessons. The rest is special needs teaching in my hall, a combination of classroom support and individual or small group work, and developing curriculum materials.

In my non-contact periods - almost two a day - I have regular meetings with my deputy, Elaine Ginns, and I deal with phone calls and queries from parents. Four times a term I organise a multi-professional meeting, with the campus police officers, school nurse, primary mental health officers and others. There are weekly senior management meetings, and lunchtime duties, such as keeping an eye on the shops on campus.

Every three weeks all the special needs teachers meet, and every month there is a training session for them and the teaching assistants.

I originally thought I would work as an educational psychologist, but I found I really liked being in school: I think teenagers are fascinating and entertaining.

It all works well here because we've got it set up well - and yet my feet don't touch the ground. Managing time is the difficult thing.

The rewards come when the children are successful. And they are more successful when people know about their needs. We are working hard to make sure teachers know what it means for a child to have these difficulties."

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