On probation

15th May 2009 at 01:00
Children say and ask the funniest things

Throughout my probationary year, I have been inundated with lines which have had me choking back the laughter. In what other job would you hear of a child's pet rabbit trying suicide, or be asked - out of the blue - if you've ever considered Darwin's theory of evolution?

Over the year, I have had to develop my acting skills by keeping a straight face on the outside, while inside my stomach muscles are in pain from controlling the laughter.

Last week, I attended a course on sexual health education, which proved to be educational and eventful. All through the day, I was picturing the moment when I would have to teach it to my pupils. All I could think about was what questions they would ask. Luckily, part of the course involved training on how to deal with, and answer, contentious questions. However, as I have learnt fast, you never can quite predict what the children are going to say next and all the training in the world can never fully prepare you.

During the past year, I have often got into a fluster with the never- ending "to do" list and the daily stress and pressures of teaching. I have recognised how easy it is to become quite negative and forget the many positive things that are happening around the school.

I was reminded of this recently, as I experienced one of the greatest "highs" of my year, when four children from my class won the Primary Schools Quiz in Glasgow. It was an extremely proud moment for me and the children, and a great boost for our school in general. It was the first time I had really seen the children's faces beaming with confidence and it was great to share the moment with them. We celebrated by having a party in the classroom and organised an assembly to share their success with the school.

Winning this competition was a great reminder to me that, although things do get very tough in school, there are always things to perk you up again and make this such a fantastic and worthwhile job.

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