I had yet another fantastic, yet emotional, day at Joshua’s school yesterday : in my capacity as school governor, I was part of the interviewing panel for internal candidates as teaching assistants. We met and interviewed 6 in total and so it took all day. They had a 20 minute lesson to teach, which was observed by the Headteacher, who then feedback to us and then we met the candidates for another 30 minutes, so it was an intense experience for them, and for us too.
I was in awe of the lessons they all delivered and the clever visual support materials that they created – I was never any good at making the Blue Peter crafts, that was my sister’s department so that is just not my thing. This school must have a massive velcro and laminating budget! I am always surprised by how much the staff want this development, given they are internal candidates. They change into their interview clothes, much to the curiosity of the children in the class, and there is clear evidence of nerves too.
The panel agreed on the best choice of candidate for the single TA post, thank Goodness, and the head was going to tell everyone over the phone last night. But there was an extraordinary interview , to which I had a physical and overwhelming reaction over which I had no control. The candidate left the room and I exploded into uncontrollable tears, I sobbed and could not speak for at least ten minutes! It was made worse by the fact that I had held it in during the last minutes of the interview, maintaining my professional front. It was then made worse again, by the school loudspeaker announcing our 1 minute silence for the victims in Tunisia. I took some time to recover and thankfully we had an hour lunch break, so I was fully composed by the time we resumed in the afternoon. It was the content of their lesson, their modesty and lack of awareness of their very real talent and finally their home experience of growing up with autistic siblings. It was just fabulous and this candidate will go far in the world of special needs education.
At the end of the school day, I was just wrung out and had a nap when I got home from school. But what a privilege to be involved, I would have paid good money to have been involved in yesterday’s events!