Friday was my last day as a probationer. As a teacher in Bo'ness the year alwasy finishes with the Children's Fair Day: crowning of a Queen, procession through the streets etc. It was a really nice way to finish the year.
When it was all over I didn't feel sad, or unduly happy, I just felt contented that I'd done the best I could.
My top tips for any new Primary probationers are;-
Get in early and leave late. You can work 9 to 4 when you're older.
- Attend PTA meetings, discos, Fayres, anything extra curricular. Get your face known.
Start a club - homework, knitting, ICT, netball, savings, craft......... anything
Write to your class's parents in the first week about what they can expect of you. Tell them about yourself.
If your school doesn't already have one, arrange (with permission) a 'Meet the Teacher' day where the parents/carers can see and talk to you.
At Parent's night, have (at least) a full A4 typed sheet of paper for each child - they appreciate it.
Don't get involved in gossip.
Everyone else will tell you to "have fun and enjoy yourself", which I always think is the most pointless piece of advice ever given. Having fun will be a consequence of working hard and being well prepared. You can't dictate it.
It was one of the hardest year's work I have ever done, but easily the most rewarding.
I'm off for one or two of these ..
At the weekend I reminded a colleague (who has been fantastic for me) that when I started my probationary year last August, she welcomed me with the words,
"We had two fantastic probationers last year."
"No pressure then." I replied.
I asked her if she could greet next year's probationer with:-
"We had a fantastic probationer last year. He asked if he could stage a production of Bugsy Malone for the upper school pupils, something the school had never attempted before. Working with the Primary Six teacher, he arranged to have it staged at a local theatre where it sold out both nights. It was amazing. It received rave reviews in the local newsapaper and from parents and teachers alike. It raised over a £1,000 for our school. He still didn't get a job though.............. What can you do?"
Producing that show nearly finished me off. There were times I couldn't see it far enough. And for what? No extra money, no job, a few thanks and some chocolates from the kids.
If I had to do it all again.........................I wouldn't change a thing.