Who got that job?

19th March 2010 at 00:00
Ever wondered who got a job you saw advertised in The TESS? Ann Sanger set her heart on helping visually-impaired pupils

Ann Sanger moved house every two years when her husband was in the Army. The couple lived in Catterick, then Berlin, then Edinburgh (where two of their children were born), then Londonderry (where the third was born), and then back in England, settling for a luxurious five years in Aldershot.

During that time it was Mrs Sanger's job to be the stable one, she says.

"When we were in Aldershot, my husband was away more than he was living with us. I did work to some extent, but everything had to be fitted round the family."

Now, however, with her husband out of the Army and the family settled in Scotland, Mrs Sanger has been free to pursue her own career.

She completed her PGDE at Aberdeen University and, in June last year, finished her probation, working as a geography teacher at Arbroath Academy.

But, with teaching posts in short supply, Mrs Sanger's only option was supply work in Angus, which is what she was doing when an advert in The TESS for a job in Dundee as a teacher of young people with visual impairments caught her eye. She took up the post in January.

"When we moved here, I managed to get a job as a learning support assistant at Monifieth High. Part of my duties was working with a visually-impaired pupil. I did that for a year and then, when I did my teacher training, I remained a supply support for learning assistant to keep my hand in."

The unit where Mrs Sanger is based, at Dundee's Craigie High, caters for three pupils with visual impairment and eight with a hearing impairment. She works exclusively with the pupils who have problems with their sight. Every day she supports them in different subjects.

As a new teacher, it has been interesting to visit such an array of classrooms and see so many different teaching styles and strategies, she says.

Mrs Sanger continues: "We are there to help them so they can be in a mainstream situation and access everything in the curriculum. We adapt materials for them. In geography, for instance, you sometimes get beautiful images but they can be too `busy' if you are visually impaired. It might need to be distilled down to a simple line-drawing. At other times, it's about enlarging text size."

One-to-one work in subjects like maths and English is carried out in the multi-sensory base in the school, where teachers also discuss with pupils how their day has gone.

Currently, all the pupils in the unit have some sight. But in August, two more youngsters will join the school, one of whom is blind.

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