I love the challenging teaching

2nd June 2006 at 01:00
Karen Brunskill, assistant head, with responsibility for the tertiary department (16-19)

"I get into school at about 8am and check the diary and e-mails. By that time other staff are arriving and we'll talk about the youngsters in the department and deal with any issues that have arisen from the previous day.

Three mornings a week there is a leadership team briefing. I also meet up with heads of other departments to make sure we have staff covering the "hotspots" - the classes where youngsters need high levels of support.

I teach in my department every morning, working on careers education and guidance, enterprise and work-related learning. I absolutely love the teaching: it's challenging and varied, and no two days are the same.

We're following the Asdan award scheme, with modules called "Towards Independence", and I try to raise pupils' awareness of different jobs and training, and the skills they need. We also visit work environments that might be right for some of them, such as catering, hotels, shops and cafes.

At any time in the day a parent may drop in - we have an open-door policy. Also at any time, a member of staff may need help with a youngster with challenging behaviour.

I do break duties and at lunchtime I feed one of the girls. Afternoons are quite often non-contact time for me, though I may be covering, for instance, in the sensory education department. After school there is usually a meeting of some sort.

The most challenging part of the job is keeping classroom teaching as your main focus when there are so many other balls to juggle. But the reward is being part of a team that has created a safe, nurturing environment, equipping these young people for adult life."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today