What a first class year for rookies

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
The first year in class is tough, so newcomers need all the support they can get. Three probationers and a mentor talk to Karen Shead about their experiences

Carmel Fiona Lonie, 27, has spent her probationary year at St Cuthbert's Primary in Edinburgh

'This probationary year has been excellent and the school has been so supportive.

At the beginning of the year we set out targets and areas where I needed to develop. It has been very helpful to have the time to do my professional development. I have also had opportunity to become familiar with the school.

Having a mentor has been very useful. She has good ideas and I have had 100 per cent support. If I have any problems or questions, she is very approachable and I can always go to her. It's good to have the time to discuss things.

I have also worked with my relief teacher. We have spent time teaching and planning together, which has been a great experience.

I am particularly interested in autism and I have had the opportunity this year to attend a course about it. I have also been able to shadow people who work with children in the school who have autism.

I have shadowed staff across all stages in the school and taught all different age groups, which is good experience to have.

The year has given me more confidence and it gives you the time to do things you otherwise wouldn't have the time to do. I suppose it's like another year in college but more beneficial because you are in the teaching setting.

I feel very privileged to have been part of this. It really has been excellent.

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