Having worked with a couple of inspirational SENCOs and seen the difference that they made I wanted to do the same – but – getting a SENCO job is one of those Catch 22 situations – you can’t get the job without experience and you can’t experience without the job. Also, what if I didn’t actually like it after all?
An ideal opportunity arose. A local school needed someone to be SENCO for a term, until they could get a proper SENCO, someone who knew what they were doing! An ideal opportunity. A school with “a reputation”, a school where there were going to be lots of special needs to be co-ordinated. It was only 3 days a week for a term, so worth a go.
Due to a lack of other applicants I was given a go. A conversation with then SENCO went along the lines of,
“I can’t see what I will do to fill 3 days.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha.”
She was of course right!
I didn’t really know what I was doing but I made lists, lots of lists, and worked through them. After half a term I was offered a fulltime job – teach in the mornings and do SEN in the afternoon – just for the half term till the proper SENCO arrived at Christmas. After Christmas I could carry on being a teacher and helping out with SEN. Seemed ideal!
The new SENCO came and we worked together. My initial “how will I fill 3 days” worry was needless to say, soon removed. There was plenty for 2 of us to do. We worked together for 2 terms. I learnt lots about applying for statements, calming parents, holding meetings, filling in forms, calming children and how important relationships are in everything, very quickly.
The year progressed, I carried on learning about the implications of a new Code of Practice, how statements would turn into Education Health Care Plans, how important relationships were to everything and gradually, very gradually parents and children started to trust me, just a little bit. The proper SENCO, who was also new to the role, decided it wasn’t quite what he’d expected and found a new role within the school. I was to be a SENCO, a real SENCO, with a sign on my door that said so!