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The Other Side of the School Gates

23/06/16

 It wasn't until Olivia had children of her own she realised she wanted a career in education. In this entry she gives us an insight into 'how' and 'why' she came to that decision.

Children changed my life. Not just the dramatic change in circumstances you find yourself in, no sleep, nappies, constant googling to reassure yourself that everything is 'ok'.

I suddenly felt a philanthropic pull towards education. Was I just sleep deprived? Had I watched too many episodes of Peppa Pig? No, I really felt that teachers and education professionals had limitless potential to have a positive influence on so many lives. So the decision was made. I picked my chosen route, I gained my work experience, completed my Cache course and then before I knew it I was ready to start work supporting teaching and learning in schools. I had never worked through an agency before and I had no idea how it worked, how I would feel about being thrown into a new environment regularly, I had concerns about how I would manage with new children on a daily basis and no idea of school’s individual behaviour policies and not having the normal bonds and relationships you build up with co-workers. But I decided that it would be a great way to cover a lot of ground quickly. So after lots of discussions and thought I decided on supply.

I registered, gave my available days, emailed many questions to the lovely protocol staff. I set my alarm and waited nervously. I got the call. I was off, within an hour I was in my first school. Straight in at the deep end, but wow! I loved it. My first role was challenging but so rewarding and immediately reinforced why I wanted to do this in the first place. The flexibility that supply work offers has enabled me to do this while my children are still young and while I still have this huge desire to be involved with education and supporting learning in schools. I know that some days I'm going to come away drained, some days euphoric, I'm eager to see how it all unfolds.

As a parent it's very interesting to be on the other side of the school gates!

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