A packed daily diary;A day in the life;Interview;John Liddell

1st October 1999 at 01:00
8.30am My working day begins, half an hour before the children arrive, which lets me do any photocopying or filing that's been left for me by the teachers. I help prepare by mounting pictures, and putting up wall displays.

9.00 Children arrive in school.

9.30 I go into one of the classes to help. Today it's Primary 4 supporting their maths groups.

10.30 Morning break 10.45 Primary 3 for language, assisting their teacher. Supervise groups, take reading.

11.45 Assist teacher in Primary 4 for language lessons.

12.30pm Lunch if weather fine. Usually I bring in sandwiches because I'm trying to watch my weight and the smell of the school meals is tempting, especially if it's chips. If the weather is wet and the children have to stay in school, I supervise children and take lunch later.

1.00 Half an hour for catching up on all those little administration tasks, including photocopying, filing and updating or enhancing wall displays.

1.30 Back in class. Primary 6 reading groups.

2.30 Primary 7 reading groups or maths.

3.30 Children go home but I carry on for another hour, mounting the children's work for hall or classroom wall displays. Any other administration gets completed now.

4.30 Time to go home, except Fridays when the children go home at 12.30 and I finish at 3pm. There's time set aside on Thursday afternoons for planning. The teachers decide what input I'll have to the work in the coming week. I see seven different classes and teachers each week, from Primary 4 to Primary 7. I can be asked to copy TV programmes onto video, take children to the library, accompany them on outings, supervise them in the playground, take football coaching - whatever the teachers want.

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