'They were good kids - but it was bloody hard'

29th September 2006 at 01:00
"You can't ever quite let go because you have so many kids with difficulties. It is non-stop." Linda Jordan (left) has just finished a 33-year career at St Ann's Well infants', in one of Nottingham's most deprived areas, where more than half the pupils qualify for free meals.

She is not surprised to hear the researchers' findings that teachers in schools like hers are more likely to suffer from ill health. Yet she says she has not witnessed this herself. Her own experience backs up the other finding of the research, that teachers in schools where more than 35 per cent of pupils get free meals are the most resilient of all.

"I think we were very strong people with good support networks," she says.

"We were experienced with pupils' emotional and behavioural difficulties and so we became adept at dealing with them.

"There were occasions when my colleagues got stressed, but there was a mutually supportive atmosphere and a great deal of camaraderie.

"You also know that your colleague in the next room has got the same kind of problems. You don't sit there thinking you have drawn the short straw and have been lumbered with the worst class. You are all in the same boat."

It has meant having to work extra hard to engage pupils, many of whom have problems at home, are often over-tired because they have been up half the night, and may have come in without breakfast. But Linda never felt like leaving.

"They were good kids. I loved working with them, but it was bloody hard."

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