During the first day, nothing of great interest seemed to happen. I was quoted by a girl in the afternoon as having ‘big legs that way’ while being gestured to the sky and I discovered the route to the staff room but other than that I seemed to have settled into the working habit pretty quickly. By the time I got home I was exhausted. I felt like I had run a marathon even though the working day was only half an hour longer than a school day and I had taken part in no physical activity.
Mum claimed that being with children was much more difficult than people realized. It certainly opened my eyes to the teachers around me that have to deal with us every day! As the week wore on I found myself almost enjoying the effortless days yet also wishing I had slightly more to do. I always got the feeling from my two supervisors that they had done this job for so many years that they felt they didn’t need me. I felt that I was continually offering my help but not to any great success.
As lazy as I am though, I guess it was almost my perfect two weeks as I soon learnt that a staff training day was due on the Friday and a strike was happening the next Monday. An eight day fortnight, wonderful! My worst moment was during the first week when a certain boy nearly emptied his stomach contents over my leg at the same time that a boy expected me to clean his ‘accident’ up. When three other teachers were in the room I felt it almost typical that all the drama happened to me, the only individual who didn’t have a clue what to do!
Mrs Rusha was very nice, though, and offered to help claiming this to be the norm. The greatest trouble I had was keeping my confidence up throughout the placement. Especially when conducting the interview as done in my work experience booklet. Talking to the staff during lunchtime was also quite difficult for me as I had to be careful about what I said so it didn’t backfire on my mum or the school. She had given me advice beforehand, though, and explained my responsibility so I knew to be cautious of what I said and did.
The final day was definitely the one most likely to stay in my memory the longest. A ‘Sponsored Bounce’ had been set up in the hall and as I was the youngest student, with exception to the actual toddlers, I had the honour of going with them. This was an annual set up by the parents association of two large bouncy castles for every child in the school. Admist the cries of delight and some cries of complete fear from the toddlers you could faintly hear the sound of a six foot girl laughing hysterically.
It was great fun and I eventually dragged the other teachers onto it so that everyone was enjoying themselves. I also got given an easter egg as a thank you which was touching for me as I’d felt I hadn’t actually done much. I hope my presence was valued by someone there and that I might have taught a child something they’ll never forget. The experience certainly taught me a lot, from helping me find out what teachers get up to outside the classroom to finding out how tough it really is for nurseries to deal with new Government issues all the time. (E. g.
a new jollyphonics scheme must now be taught in every British nursery). I got a real insight into working with children and I found that although the children are different and exciting every day, the job isn’t. I couldn’t see myself becoming a nursery teacher as I need more challenges and a better chance of progression in my job. I absolutely admire teachers now and I’ve decided that a job concerning both children and sport could be something I’m really interested in. For now however I intend to get to university for a sports science degree and to keep my options open.