Things changed with other classes where the behaviour of some pupils was an issue, and for one individual, flagged at local authority level. It was then that a few physical health niggles started and some serious stress, on reflection, developed. In addition, the school’s insistence on keeping hold of the child in question meant that behaviour that would have been cause for permanent exclusion elsewhere was met with sympathy and understanding- for the child. He went through a series of support workers who understandably thought better of their own health and left quickly.
I won’t dwell on the details further but when an opportunity arose to work alongside the whole school staff to develop their practice in one particular area, it provided some respite away from the class and really allowed me to focus on supporting other teachers to work a little bit differently. Team planning and teaching was a revelation- I loved this aspect of teaching! – and it was this that kept me in school and got me through the ‘threshold’ and onto the more comfortable salary scales.
At that time, Local Authority school improvement teams existed and I always attended the network meetings for my area of expertise- this networking turned out to be absolutely vital in the future and I would strongly recommend that teachers reading this seek out opportunities or create their own.