I have a couple of thanks, in fact :) First up, thanks so much for your supportive and interested comments in my news here; I had the first training evening last night and I feel much better informed now about exactly how the course will run and what I'll have to do. I popped into school this morning to confirm my extra hours there, and those start next week, so I shall be pretty busy!
A couple of you did express (understandable!) surprise that a qualified teacher would need to do training to become a teaching assistant. In fact, I may well be able to find a job without having done this course, though it would depend on the individual school. I've chosen to do the training for several reasons: I want to prove to prospective employers that I am serious about this career change and I do fully understand what the role entails; for my own sake, I want to cover ground in an appropriate way and at an appropriate level so I DO fully understand what it entails, and I shall probably be able to cover some skills (eg one-to-one support of a pupil with special educational needs) in a way that teachers don't actually do; also, I want to make sure that any schools who might be slightly pernickety about employing someone without the specific TA qualification don't have that excuse! While I hope I wouldn't end up working in a school that could be so pernickety, I do need to keep my job options as wide open as possible! And besides, I'm actually really excited about this, I love learning and I'm raring to go with the assignments :)
My other thanks is for your contributions to this discussion. At the time of writing this post, there are exactly 13 comments - I love that!! (But I'd still welcome any other ideas you have, so please don't be put off leaving a comment that takes us past 13!)
Today, The Boy gets his first challenge.... I've decided to start him off with a list of 13 household tasks, such as doing a load of washing, mowing the lawn, cleaning out The Newer Hamster, cleaning the windows, etc. I've got a great list of ideas now, incorporating several of your wonderful suggestions (definitely going to include donating 13 items, learning about 13 life skills, carrying out 13 acts of kindness, some kind of journey or walk...) but I haven't finalised the list yet so there's still scope to add in any brilliant ideas you may have between now and the end of November :)
In fact, if I included all the ideas I liked, we'd have more than 13 challenges for the poor lad!! I'm currently thinking of ways I can cheat slightly so I can shoehorn in a few extras ;) For example, he definitely needs to write a blog post reporting back to you all once the challenges are complete, so the lovely suggestion of writing a list of 13 awesome things about each of us can be part of that post :) Maybe I can sneak in the foreign languages idea as part of that blog post too, if it doesn't end up being a weekly challenge of its own. In fact, I can see his blog post consisting of 13 different sections - poor lad indeed!
Cheri asked if The Boy was game for this. Yes, he is - I think he's a little nervous about what we might ask him to do, but he likes the idea and is definitely up for it. However, he did decidedly veto The Creative Beast's suggestion that he go without computer access for 13 days!! He's being such a good sport about it that I'd like to think of a good reward for him to celebrate successful completion of all the tasks - though I hope the satisfaction of a job well done will be a reward in itself.... I'm thinking maybe the party for 13 friends could fit the bill? Or some sort of celebration involving the number 13, anyway!
So, thanks again, everyone :) I'll update you every so often on the tasks The Boy's working on, but I won't tell you too much about his progress, as he'll do that himself in December. Now I'm off to write out that list of 13 household tasks for him to get started with!
...is what I speak. It describes what I actually say (nonsense, mostly) and how I say it (ie my accent, which is a mixture of all sorts - a bit of North of England, a bit of Irish, a bit of South West England, a lot of just me!) The word comes from my name, Mel, and the fact that I'm one-quarter Welsh. But there's not actually any Welsh in my accent. Go figure...