Welcome to another Story Telling Sunday hosted by Sian at High In The Sky. I've not been able to join in as much as I would have liked for this year's story idea of Pick Your Precious, but something on Sian's blog earlier in the week reminded me of this little lady and I felt compelled to post.
Allow me to introduce Miss Sparks (geddit?) who represents teachers in a little dragon world invented by an old colleague of mine. Kay was a SENCO (Special Needs Coordinator) in the primary school that I worked at as a Teaching Assistant but she also wrote books about dragons for children and made models of her characters and created other crafts to sell alongside them. I lost touch with her many years ago so I have no idea if she is still teaching or writing but I happen to know that she is still creating these lovely dragons.
I came by Miss Sparks when I left the school to return to full time parenting. I had gone back to work after having Louis but I hadn't really settled. After a few months my child minder decided to have her own family and we had the potential hassle of finding someone else to cover me for a job I no longer felt comfortable in. It was never a financial decision; the way TAs are paid mean't that I was actually paying more for childcare than I was earning, so it was a bit of a no brainer really and I decided to leave. Kay had been really supportive since I went back and was disappointed to lose me from the team as I had been excited about training to become a Higher Level TA and one day get my PGCE and become a teacher. When she gave me Miss Sparks, she said it was to remind me of my promise to her to return to teaching in some form in the future.
Nearly 6 years on and with my second child, my baby girl, about to start school in September, I have thought a lot about my future and what I want to do. Everyone expects people to go back to work once their children are in school full time. Education has changed so much since I last worked though and there are rumblings of phasing out TAs. The economic situation means the market for primary teachers has been flooded even more than before and competition for training places is intense. I still want to be around for my children if they are ill or on holidays or inset days and I want to be involved in their school lives. I've recently become a Parent Governor and I like to attend any events at the school such as sports days and concerts etc. I'm hoping to help out come October too. As for what I do at home, well there is still my writing which I hope to devote more time to and perhaps start to put feelers out to get published and of course there is my crafting which keeps me busy but obviously doesn't make me much money!
I am of course teaching my own children every day and Louis is now on the Gifted and Talented register for Science and Literacy and received straight 3s in his Key Stage 1 SATS, so I'm rather proud of that! So we shall see how things go, but in the meantime I can look at Miss Sparks and I am reminded of my desire to encourage learning in children, perhaps to teach, and hope that Kay understands. It is a reminder of a really challenging and changing time in my life and I love her even though one of the children broke her tail years ago...
Have you got something precious that has a story attached? Share it with others across the world in Story Telling Sunday.
Bye for now