Disaster struck in my classroom today, my Teaching Assistant was absent!! Don't get me wrong, throughout my teaching career I haven't always had a T.A. In fact in lots of my classes I have had no T.A. support at all, in other years I have shared a T.A.Yet today when I realised my T.A. wouldn't be in I was devastated.
She is a really valuable part of my class of course and without doubt she has kept me sane this year! But it has made me think why I suddenly felt daunted at the prospect of having a day without her support.
Firstly I think the size of my class is difficult, 34 in total, 4 more than the largest KS1 class which results in lots of marking for a start along with missing that extra person to help get the children organised when they come in in the morning, go out to play, have milk, get ready for home ........ The list with KS1 children is endless trust me. Add into this the fact that there are 22 Boys and only 12 girls and the difficulty increases along with the noise levels. I always thought girls were the chatty, noisy ones until this year! Then add in more than the usual amount of pupils with specific needs, both medical and otherwise and no one to take that extra group etc. Plus no one to cover when you need an unexpected trip to the loo or have forgotten to photocopy that extra sheet you need.
Then last, but my no means least, difficult parents. Now this is a big factor! I have over the years had 'run ins' with parents, we all have. But those problems usually occur at the beginning of the year when neither child nor parent knows you and they then usually sort themselves out as the parent realises that actually you are a good teacher, their child does like being in your class and actually they are making good progress. This year however, a couple of troublesome parents have really set the scene for a very stressful year, which is sad. It has left me feeling more protected with another pair of eyes and ears in the room.
The truth is though that actually I and the children survived! It was in fact quite a nice day, the children were being helpful, tidying up after themselves etc. We got through all of our lessons and even fitted in a bit of extra story time!
It was a piece of cake. But boy oh boy I hope she is back in tomorrow!!!!!