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Queensland Kindergarten Teacher to Year Two Interventionist in England

30/03/15

Sheridan has recently moved to the UK and has taken on a very different role to what she thought she would be doing! 

Before I came to the UK, I was a Queensland Kindergarten teacher for 18 months, always with an idea of coming to the UK after completing my first 18 months of teaching. My 18 months went by like a flash and before I knew it, it was time to start preparing myself for my big move to the UK! Originally, I was to be a daily supply teacher, which was honestly very daunting! You hear these things about relief teachers and what students put them through but in all honestly, it wasn’t the behaviour I was worried about. I had overcome many behaviour challenges during my university placements and Kindergarten position so I had quite a few tricks up my sleeve. It was the constant moving around between schools. Being in a city alone can be tough enough but having to find your way to a school you have never been to before, in a city you barely know just scared the hell out of me!

Thankfully, a wonderful lady at the Watford Protocol Education branch rang me for an interview one evening and within hours of the interview taking place, a new role within the school was created for me and I was offered the position of a year two Intervention Teacher. I went from running my own classroom using a curriculum I was familiar with to moving half way across the world to a country I barely knew and a curriculum that blew my mind! Intervention Teacher was definitely the BEST role for me. It gave me time to get my head around the curriculum without having to put it into formal planning, simply small group activities that focused on a single aspect of the curriculum at a time.

My role as the year two intervention teacher meant being a support teacher within the classroom during literacy and numeracy sessions while having afternoon sessions to work with students and help them develop their skills and knowledge in preparation for the upcoming SATs testing in May. These sessions were usually either one on one or in small groups of 2-4 students. This allowed for a more focused learning environment and meant I could plan sessions to be specific to student’s needs, learning levels and abilities.

Being a part of the year two team also meant joining in on the weekly planning sessions. These were a massive help! Having struggled to get my head around the curriculum before I came to the UK, being involved in planning sessions with classroom teachers allowed me to observe their planning styles and pick up tricks along the way that make planning easy. Such tricks as having PowerPoint and word documents that include the learning intentions and curriculum links and simply copying and pasting into the plan. This obviously saves time searching for the links and energy having to type them into the plan.

It was honestly the best way for me to begin my time in the UK. Being an interventionist teacher allowed me time to settle into the country and school without being thrown straight into a classroom with very little knowledge of the curriculum. If the opportunity to be an interventionist is available, it is a good position for anyone wanting to come to the UK but, like me, is a little overwhelmed by the move. It gives you a foot in the door at a school and allows many more doors and opportunities to open up for you.

Are you currently working in a specialist role? Would you like to blog about your experience? Contact Megan for more information on getting started. 

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