Career Break Diary: Week 1

Hi everyone,

So we all survived week 1 of back to school, with all the changes and measures put in place in schools to keep us all safe and well. I was very fortunate to get subbing last week in a lovely local school. It was daunting going to a different school after so many years in my own school. But I enjoyed the week and getting to see different schools. 

Last Monday I spent time preparing my own subbing essentials bag and shared it on my Instagram. I am very conscious that I bring all my own materials so that I don’t use the class teachers. I have my stationery – pencils, pens, whiteboard markers and erasers and other stationery items I might need in the class. I have sanitiser wipes and hand gel for my own use also. 

I had other essentials in the bag also, a diary to record the days and roll numbers of the schools, this will help when monitoring payslips for payment, a separate diary to record lesson ideas and activities. I will complete a record sheet for the teacher too to outline what work I have covered. I also had a poetry book for informal lesson to begin the day. 

These all worked so well last week, but the highlight of the week was the STEM boxes I made inspired by Teach Outside the Box and Playful Classroom. I am going to share a detailed outline of them on my Instagram story later today. As it was a small class, the children had a box each. The children kept these boxes from Tuesday to Thursday and then I put them away in quarantine for the weekend. The first two mornings were free play for the children to explore the materials and share ideas with each other. Then on the third day I gave them a STEM Challenge, to make their name in 3D. The class really responded well to this and it was ideal for a morning activity as children come in due to staggered entry times. 

My own challenges this week were the visor and teaching behind a screen, it will take time to get used to everything again. Being in a new school did help as everything was new to me. I also found I needed hand sanitiser everywhere so I bought myself a retractable key ring clip on eBay and I am going to get hand sanitiser bottles on a key ring. If they are clipped to me in some way I will have access to sanitiser everywhere. It might work for others. I am also on the hunt for a water bottle with a straw to make it easier to drink water, and with teaching through a mask or while wearing a visor. It is so important to keep hydrated for your voice. 

While, I don’t have subbing this week yet, I am going to spend some time developing my own resources, editing and updating my own classroom resources and creating new ones to use on subbing. I will share them on Instagram and here on my blog as they are ready. 


Stay Safe Everyone, 

Aistear Muinteoir


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