I am booked for the next two Tuesday’s at a new school. The morning is a Nursery class and the afternoon is in Reception. I feel comfortable with this arrangement. I enjoy both age groups and think that the day being broken up will be a good thing.
I arrive and am swiftly shown to the Nursery. The morning sounds quite simple and it starts well. The staff are friendly and helpful. The only thing bothering me is that the teacher is in an office with the door open all morning which makes me rather self- conscious.
On the whole, the morning goes well, aside from the usual feelings of insecurity. I have my lunch and am shown to the reception class. Apprehension soon rears its head as I am told I am teaching PE. I worry about controlling children I don’t know in a large space!
I do the register and we begin to get ready for PE. I can tell there are some behaviour issues, but proceed as I should. We enter the hall, and I begin to panic about the lesson. The children are very difficult to control and this is hard enough alone, besides the fact I haven’t taught PE in many years. The children are wild, I become more and more flustered and frustrated. Staff seem to constantly walk through the hall which makes me even more uneasy and I want the ground to swallow me whole.
I get through it, but feel tears brimming. I hold it together until the end of the afternoon. I had experienced challenging behaviour in my previous job and was fine. However, constantly being in an unfamiliar school, with no background knowledge of the children, feeling brand new and inexperienced after so much time off, was beginning to feel too much for me.
As I sign out, the secretary tells me she hopes I come back and haven’t been put off. I sense that many supply teachers do not return and I can see why! I smile politely, drive home as tears stream down my cheeks, and call my agent to inform her I will not be returning to that school again.