Well, one week passed. I went into school twice this week. Each time I completed a half day and taught one lesson, the second visit was a bit longer as I was in school over lunchtime and stayed after school to mark the set of books from our two lessons this week.
So what did I do? Taught a lesson each time, slipping back comfortably into the role where for an hour my attention is focused on up to 30 12/13 year olds. Setting tasks, answering questions, chivvying, asking questions, pushing for accuracy in work, stopping disruptions from developing, being interested in a range of individuals with different personalities – after 10 weeks of not doing this I was tired after each visit, but I enjoyed it, back in my element. I also met other staff, answered queries about my health, where had I been … More interaction than I had become accustomed to.
So week two, the programme says two more half days. The same plan? No, I have asked to up the amount of teaching and will be delivering 4 lessons, so less meeting, talking and more teaching. I have calculated that if everything progresses steadily I want to increase the number of lessons each week so there are no jumps and my stamina builds apace.
One of the nicest and most supportive elements has been the support of pupils, staff and friends online who come from so many different avenues of my life. They have responded positively to my posts here, in staffrm, on Facebook and Twitter. Mentally I have felt strong, physically I realise is going to hit more more than I hoped but I can work at that a week at a time. The support and comments about my honesty in posts is also touching. I will continue to be honest about mental health because I want it to be a more open point of discussion. I know from my own experience that since 1999 and my first absence from it that it is less of a taboo but there is a long way to go and it takes time for people to feel more comfortable about others bringing it to the fore.
So onto week two …