I recently shared my brand new 'back to school' bag and some of the things I'd prepared to take with me on my first day as a supply teacher......well here I am, safely out the other side!
Firstly, I am fully aware that my face is here, back when I was a teacher 'proper' 8 years ago, I shared my life anonymously online (I've always shared my life online in some form), and I only 'revealed' my face on my blog once I'd left teaching. I also covered all my tattoos when I taught back then. I was younger, and less sure of who I was I guess. So it's just something I need to bare in mind. But the world is different now. I'm different now. And it feels ok.
Being in a school again, after so long, felt a little alien, and the building was a modern purpose-built school, which is the opposite to the schools I used to work in (old Victorian schools). It was a rather unusual start, as the class teacher was actually in the school that day, but working on a different project. So they were able to show me their room, and quickly run me through the day. The downside was that the class teacher was there when the children entered, which made it harder to establish the tone that you'd usually want to do as a stranger in the classroom. But all good.
If there is a supply teacher god, they blessed me for my first day. The class were a joy, and the lessons went as planned. We managed to get the work done, enjoy a story, and leave the classroom tidy. I marked the maths books, and even had time to call the children back who had made errors, and go over their mistakes with them (the fancy term for that is 'Assessment for Learning, where assessment of work isn't just for scores, but for helping children move forward).
At lunchtime I was told the school had already asked me back, which gave me a nice pat on the back, and that evening I was booked for 3 dates at this school, and 3 at another.
While it was a relief that my first day supply teaching went smoothly, I know I can't get comfortable. I know that I'll stumble across children that prove more challenging, and classrooms that are less easy to slot into.
The school was very very different to the schools I've worked in before. In so many ways. It was fascinating to be reminded that not all schools are like the ones I've known.
Day 1 - tick achieved!