Having gone to Teesside College for my teaching degree, I had hoped to return to Scotland after qualification, but due to a lack of teaching jobs across the UK at the time in 1983, I ended up staying longer in Cleveland than I planned.
It was fine, as I had made lots of new friends and had more school contacts to help in the search for a position. I had also taken a job in social work, as a support worker working with kids aged about 7 to 16 years of age and their families. It help with extra cash to pay the bills, but I really enjoyed the work, although there were some challenging moments to say the least.
My first teaching job was at The Avenue Primary in Middlesbrough, with a lovely Primary 5 class of 15 pupils. More about them can be found in another post here.
While at the school I was involved in whole school activities involving other classes like school trips, parties and other events that staff could support. The Primary 6/7 pupils were going to go to Normandy in France and I was invited along to help. This was another great adventure by coach, all the way to France and back. It was a very tiring journey, but very worthwhile in that we had a very successful visit to a number of well known attractions like the Normandy beaches where there were still lots of wrecked armoured vehicles and amphibian craft just littering the sands and over a long distance. Another place of interest was the Bayeux Tapestry, which was a lot narrower than I had imagined.
The photos below record some of the highlights of the trip and there is also a video which will be added soon. I had a number of helper recording video clips and one boy in particular, but sadly I have forgotten his name, but he was enthusiastic and did a brilliant job. Especially so as the video cameras in those days were enormous, the type that sat on your shoulder and could be quite heavy. The battery was a long thin item about thirty centimetres long and resembled a long skinny brick, and only held enough charge for about 30 minutes.
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