… I’ll not lie, it was tiring.
I just secured my first official deputy post and first time as class teacher of Y3. I have done both before but only on a temporary basis. After 12 years in education (16 if you include the 4 at university in intensive training) and 5 of those as assistant head; I felt I was ready for the next step.
I have learnt loads, how to deal, encourage and communicate with different staff – I am by no means an expert – how to transfer the skills I learnt in my previous posts and embed them here. I am learning. All the time, learning. No one gets it right first time, and that includes me.
I think the hardest thing I had to get used to was the come down from year 6. From leaving them in the summer as nearly Y7 to picking up Y3 who had only just left Y2! I knew I would have the constant questions, the continual patting of my shoulder (only when sitting down, I am tall) and the need to ask me everything about anything. All. The. Time.
It’s a different mindset is all. My wife teaches in Nursery and Reception and to her, Y3 are pacey, independent, sharp and ‘grown up’. To me, compared to the ‘big league’ they’re not. I do love my class though, they are fun and after a few weeks, they are already beginning to form into Mr W’s class.
The main thing I’ve learnt this half-term though: expectations. Not lowered expectations, that would be wrong. I have high expectations and the children and parents know it. Just, differently pitched expectations. I have had to adjust what they can do in a certain amount of time. Two lessons prove this more than anything else: PE and ICT. I planned a unit of tag rugby for the children and they were fab, just a lot less skilled than a Y6 group would be, obviously. With ICT, their hands are constantly up, constantly asking for support as they can’t find this or click that.
So, I’ve adjusted. I’ve tweaked. I have a specific number of children who are ICT comfortable and they are my class leaders. They are the ‘go-to’ people before me. Teaching Y3 is very different to Y6 but I like it. I love their innocence and happy acceptance of new things. They are thrilled by simple things and are desperate to improve.
Next update at Christmas…