Today, I had an interview. Within about twenty minutes of getting home from it, I had a phone call to say I had got the job.
Let me start from the beginning. Many years ago (like 26 years ago!) I went to my local Infant school. I loved it there, and my teacher there (let’s call her Mrs S for confidentiality reasons) was amazing. I adored her and she inspired me to become a teacher. I always said I wanted to teach at that school like Mrs S, and all through my teenage years and whilst training to be a teacher, I dreamt of working there. Then I got a job in another (fantastic) school, and I put that dream to the back of my mind, especially when I gave up teaching. The one thing that I always wanted was Harrison to go to the school though, and I made sure he did. Of course, it has changed a lot in that time, but there are still members of staff there from when me and my brothers were there.
I had no intention of going ‘back to work’ for a long time, especially not in a school. My blog and my writing had taken off and I was quite happy doing what I was doing. Sometime last year, maybe around the time Harrison started in reception, I occasionally started to miss teaching and being in the school environment. After all, it is all I have ever wanted to do, and I trained for three pretty tough years at uni to do it. However, the reason I left was because I wanted to be at home with the kids, and teaching is really intense and time consuming. I put it out of mind, and took on the role of a voluntary stay and play leader, which seemed like a little bit of a compromise. I’d also tried to be as involved in the school as I could – I helped out on school trips and joined the PTA – Mrs S was on the PTA as well, and it was lovely to still be able to talk to her, and tell her how she had helped to shape my life.
The week before Christmas, I was asked by Harrison’s teacher if I could come in and help walk the children down to the local church for their nativity. I did – and I loved being in the classroom, even in the role of a parent volunteer. On my way out, I happened to look up at a notice board and see a sign advertising a job at the school. The next thing I knew, I was in the headteacher’s office, talking to him and the deputy about applying for the job. I came out with the application form.
I got home and sat and talked to Graham about it. I think both he and I knew that I was going to go for it – he had picked up on me talking more and more about working in a school again. I filled in the form, and handed it in the day the kids broke up for the Christmas holidays.
The job isn’t for a teacher. It’s for a teaching assistant. I’ve always felt that teaching assistants are an absolutely vital part of a school, and I have said for a long time that I would look into getting a job as a TA instead of a teacher – it’s slightly less intense than teaching, but still using all the skills. It’s also only fifteen hours a week, meaning I get to be at home with the kids for part of the day and can still do some of the school runs. I can keep up with my blogging and writing as well.
I had a phone call last week inviting me for an interview. I was just so over the moon to have got an interview – I hadn’t applied for a job for about eight years, so to get that far was amazing. I didn’t get nervous until I walked in – I think I had almost blanked it out! I had to do a short activity with some children, which was fine. It was a bit nerve wracking walking in and seeing that one of the interviewers was Mrs S (she has retired from teaching now, but is on the chair of governors) and then I had to answer a few questions.
I was fairly happy with how it went – I stumbled a couple of times and admitted my mind had gone blank, but I know that the school has high standards, and they had interviewed a few other people as well. I left knowing that even if I wasn’t offered it, I still had a good enough application to get to the interview stage, and I wasn’t a complete idiot at interviews. Then I got the call to offer me the position. It might not be teaching, but I’ve managed to make that dream of working at my old school a reality.
I have my induction next week. I won’t really talk about my job on my blog – obviously for professionalism and confidentiality reasons, and also because it is quite nice to have that ‘other’ part of my life. I’ll let you know how I get on next week though!