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News > Alumnae News > Life as a Teaching Assistant

Life as a Teaching Assistant

Rachel tells us about her favourite elements of working with children, as well as her PF memories.
16 Nov 2022
Written by Rachel Holland
Alumnae News
Rachel Holland
Rachel Holland

After leaving PF, I studied Arts Management at South Bank University. While interesting and broadening, I realised my strengths were in education and working with children. I studied Education at Middlesex University, followed by a Montessori course. It was an intense year, but well worth it and I finally had the qualification I was looking for.

I am now working in a primary school near where I live, and have been there for the last 11 years. I am currently with the amazing year 2 children, supporting a child 1:1 in that class. They are a fantastic group, and I enjoy the camaraderie with my colleagues and the children. They make me laugh, and it’s rewarding when they have learned and remembered something you have taught them. Lockdown was busy, with all the online marking, interventions, staff meetings and all the rest, as everything moved online during that time.

Outside work, I can be found at the ballet and opera, including the proms. For the last 20 years, I have served on the committee of the Ballet Association, which is a ballet enthusiast’s group set up over 40 years ago, run by ballet fans, for fans. I also like to travel, having been to parts of the east coast of America, Vancouver, and various cities in Europe.

I have so many memories of PF and here are some of my favourites:

I remember the fire in '91 or '92 I think. The looks of utter bewilderment on the faces of the day girls and staff as they arrived to the sight of us boarders standing there in our PJs on the sports field has stayed with me. 

I can still remember the water fights on the playing field on a hot afternoon, and then sneaking past the matron's office hoping/thinking Miss West and Mrs Shaw wouldn't catch us soaking wet. I'm sure the wet clothes hanging up in the dorms must have been a slight give away though. 

I also remember various school concerts singing in the choir - one in particular when my father decided to stand at the back and try and make me laugh throughout the whole thing. I can't forget playing the triangle and tambourine in the orchestra at the Christmas carol service one year and deciding to end with a flourish and a shimmy at the tambourine part at the end of the piece. Luckily, Mrs Thorne had a sense of humour about it.

I remember one end of term midnight dorm party. I think I got about 1 ½ hours of sleep that night. There must have been at least 10 of us squeezed in a dorm for two!

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