Day in the life - Rosie O'Connor

7th November 2008 at 00:00
Is a Year 6 teacher at Ranvilles Junior School in Fareham, Hampshire

Before I collect my class from the playground, I put classical music on so that it's playing when the children enter the room. It calms them down and means the day gets off to a good start. As a young teacher in my first term, classroom management is one of the things I've had to think about quite carefully. At the moment I'm still being strict - not don't-smile-until-Christmas strict, just making sure I have clear rules and boundaries.

But the children have been brilliant. In my first week one boy brought me a box of chocolates and said he knew it was my first job, and that it must be hard, so he thought the chocolates might help.

In lessons I use a chatter tracker - a large robot with traffic lights built into its body. When the light's on red it means no talking. When it's on amber it means there can be quiet on-task discussion, and when it's on green it means it's a speaking exercise. Today, they're doing some writing and several children point out that I should have moved the light from amber to red. That's how well-behaved they are.

For literacy, we're producing travel brochures, designed to entice people to St Lucia. I begin by modelling the kind of thing they should be writing and I have to admit, with the days getting short and dark, it sets me thinking about sunshine and beaches.

I've been feeling tired the past week or two. Until now the excitement of a first job has kept the tiredness at bay, because I've been having such a good time. Today I have the afternoon free, so I catch up on some marking. I have two afternoons a week like this and it's incredibly useful, either to do marking, observe other lessons or just talk to colleagues, who always give me lots of encouragement. The staff here are quite young, so they remember what it's like to be an NQT, and that's a help.

Rosie O'Connor, 21, was talking to Steven Hastings.

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