The family way

18th January 2008 at 00:00
Coming from a family of teachers, I was determined to break the mould. After university I landed a well-paid graduate job with a top supermarket and embarked on my journey as a determined, ambitious retail manager. Three months later, I hated it and then endured possibly the worst two years of my life.

I decided I wanted to work with kids, and my mum (a headteacher) advised me to aim for qualified teacher status for the pay and opportunities, even if I didn't end up teaching.

Two years later, I've been a teaching assistant in a variety of special needs settings, a playworker in significantly deprived areas and a trainee teacher in a challenging urban mainstream school. I have worked with some of the most disaffected pupils in Manchester.

Times of despair (being barricaded in a room by three pupils when one kicked off because he was given pink shorts for swimming as he forgot his own) have been balanced by times of triumph (having a deputy head ask me to remove an ADHD pupil from a room as he refused to move for anyone else).

The highest point was attending a viewing at The Manchester Cornerhouse of a film produced by, and featuring, pupils with a range of special needs.

I've just completed my first weeks as a new teacher and while I'm aware that Year 7 last thing on a Friday won't always be as perfect as in the first week of term (I wanted to cry, they were so well behaved), I'm confident that I have enough experience and determination to rise to any challenge they throw at me. Despite the rollercoaster ride that has been the past two years, I am sure teaching is the right choice for me. This wouldn't have been the case without the fantastic mentors, managers and headteachers I have worked for, and with, over the past two years.

The highlight of this week has been, when teaching how to round to one or two significant figures (s.f), I told them my friend calls them sausage fingers with his class, to help them remember. A pupil asked if we could call them smelly feet instead. After examples of rounding to one smelly feet and two smelly feet, one pupil piped up: "Miss, shouldn't it be a smelly foot if there's only one of them?"

Kate Banfield is a new teacher in Manchester.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now