Written by Fionn in year 8 – his first year in grammar school – aged 12 or 13…and UPDATED after a few years in his new school aged 15 ALL his own ideas. would make a GREAT job description and also shows how lucky he was to find an”other mother”…. ….by Helen.

Fionn’s words

  • when I was really young i didn’t understand myself and i didn’t know how to be sociable. So my classroom assistant had to be able to help me. My first assistant didn’t seem to notice my problems,  so mum spoke to Mr Murphy the principal and he agreed to get me a different one.
  • My new assistant used to take me out of class to do art work and stuff so she could get to know me a bit. I was awkward at being sociable to anyone so it was quite hard for her to get to know me.
  • we had to do this social stories thing which i didnt really find helpful.
  • when we had trips and assemblies she’d give me a blutac so i could fiddle and stretch it. That helped me sit still and she stood nearby but usually didn’t have to sit beside me.
  • She started bringing other people out with me so they chatted with us and got to know me a bit. Cos I was really only friends with the girls, and that wasn’t very boyish. The first boy i remember was Matthew. He got to know me cos he once stuck up for me. She kept bringing out just one boy at a time which was really good.
  • i think she was a good classroom assistant so she noticed if i didn’t manage well with someone.
  • in p4 i was really getting used to Lorna, my assistant, as the maths was getting tough, and it was really good because i got extra help from her all the time. It was also one of my most distracted years cos i was getting into lots of my habits like tying my lace and sharpening my pencil when i was bored. Lorna rationed me. I was only allowed to do it so many times a day which helped me get out of those habits.
  • She didn’t sit beside me always but she knew when to cos she noticed my puzzled look. My puzzled look isn’t very obvious i just kind of twiggle my mouth a bit. But she knew it meant i was a bit lost.
  • if i was a bit twitchy and a bit nervous she would take me out of class and ask me what was up…but at this stage i still denied everything. It takes me a long time to get to know somebody to trust them. Sometimes she knew what was up like if someone upset me -she was good at sorting it out.
  • in p5 i remember we did lots of art with weird textures. I hated them , so she got a girl – they don’t mind art, to help me and work with me. We had these maths groups and i hated them but she kinda helped me get through it and knew when i was lost. She always wrote notes to mum every night telling her what the day was like and stuff.
  • in p5 she didn’t sit beside me as much cos she was getting to know me and she knew when to come over. when i was stuck or when i was in a bad mood or was i was not paying attention . When i was not paying attention she always made this face at me- a kind of “come on listen” face that reminded me to listen.
  • classroom assistants help when teachers aren’t good explainers and when i am not understanding what they are saying.
  • by p6 when she knew there was something wrong i couldn’t lie because she just knew me so well. So she’d keep nagging at me. It reminded me of my mother. Then i would eventually just tell her. And she would explain it to me and help me deal with it.
  • Everyday we got time Lorna took me out of class when it was spelling – cos i find them easy to do some extra maths and comprehensions. I enjoyed those times sorta and it was really helpful cos my scores improved.
  • i always needed help with organising myself and she shouted me in a good way – like a bit funny – a bit sarcastic like i was her son. It was good 🙂
  • by p7 my relationship with her was really good. She could read me like an open book so i got away with nothing. She had these looks – one to warn me to listen and concentrate, if she saw i had sneaked out my novel during a lesson then she’d make the face. if i was messing about or hanging about with wrong boys she’d ask me what was going on. when i was daydreaming or humming she would give me a wee nudge.
  • on my last weeks there i was sad and she cried!DSC_0083
  • she got to know me so well before i got to trust her. But when she was around she’d always know what i was at. I felt happy co she always knew what to do.
  • when i was going to leave primary school i felt really sad and scared cos i had lost a brilliant assistant and friend. but we agreed to stay friends and i text her and tell her how much i miss her still
  • in my new school i have a new assistant and she has got used to me. and it took me a while to trust her or even talk to her. i didnt really want her there and i had to call her Mrs and i hated that.
  • i only realised how much i needed help when she started noticing when i was stuck. Mum and i had a chat and mum said that Mrs X was helping by noticing when i needed help.
  • we decided that it was never going to be the same as having Lorna, but i had to learn to be more independent anyhow. i dont want help on the corridor. I do need her to help me get notes taken down right, and homework taken down which is really good.
  • i was worried that i would look babyish in secondary school having an assistant but i have really caught on to how much it helps my organisation and my capability of understanding new stuff.
  • now she notices when something is wrong. even though i still deny it.
  • she doesn’t always stay beside me but she keeps an eye on me to make sure i am ok.
  • when things go wrong and i am upset i wish that Lorna was there.
  • But mrs X is good, its just Lorna is a bit special to me. i even give her hugs 🙂
  • she has a new autistic boy now and he is VERY lucky!
  • mum used to call her my second mother and i like that!

by Fionn

This was written when i was in first year, so a year or two ago. i now have assistant Mrs D.

She is very nice and very helpful. She is very good at seeing when i am not helpful.

I also feel that i am getting on with her real well so that i can tell her when stuff annoys me.

i still need an assistant in different ways – :

  • for organisation,
  • for helping me take notes,
  • when tests freak me out,
  • to help me keep track of the homework,
  • to remind me when there is a change in routine and stuff
  • when i need a reminder to pay attention.

She doesn’t have to sit beside me, but she has a “LOOK” for when i amn’t paying attention – like Lorna had 🙂

. So she is still keeping an eye.

I don’t look for her at break and lunchtime. but i know if anything came up i would go to her first. So i think she is definitely the right assistant for me at this stage.

I like Mrs D.Not having a classroom assistant would mean life in school would be way harder and less secure for me. and my parents wouldn’t get the notes she writes every day about how the subjects went- and that really helps them and me going through homework.

If i was told one day i had no Mrs D i know i couldn’t do everything on my own, and manage the organisation. i also would feel very vulnerable instead of how i feel now!

by Fionn