When I became a teacher I presumed that the majority of my time would be taken up with children with a small proportion dealing with parents at things like parents meeting and the odd chat after school. I also presumed that I would need to work with other staff in a variety of ways. This was fairly much how it was.
As a SENCo I was initially in class for the afternoons, then this changed to the mornings and then after a while to being out of class full time. The balance of who I worked with then changed quite drastically. I still get some time with children of all ages but I spend more time with parents and staff (and with the never ending paperwork).
Parents come in for all sorts of reasons – some that I organise and some that they organise and some that just happen – generally these are not to come and say how wonderful life is! Today I had one of those meetings. The parent was cross, it was nothing that I could influence at all, but I was available. I listened as she told me all problems, I explained calmly that I could see she was angry and that we were here for the children and to educate them. I nodded and said the odd comment. I watched as she bent a ruler past the point that I thought you could bend a ruler to without it breaking. I tried to use my very best listening skills. After 20 minutes she was still a bit cross but had re-found a sense of humour and left because she had meat in the oven.
Working with staff is very different now that my position has changed although apparently some things never change! Two TAs from my old school came to look round my present school this morning in a local ‘sharing good practice’ initiative. They were pleased to see me, “Have you still got your goody box and a screw driver and a spare pair of tights?” I could happily show them that I still do.
Do I enjoy this change in balance of what I do? Yes I do, some things are a lot more challenging than I imagined but it’s good to be challenged.