• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Back to Firefly Blog

Teacher’s Day – Being An Additional Needs Teacher AND Parent

Teacher’s Day – Being An Additional Needs Teacher AND Parent

In particular, for those of us whose children have additional needs or disabilities, the care and support that our children receive at school is hugely appreciated and makes a world of difference to us and our children.

We see the team that work with our child, we get to know a little about them and their lives; the pressures they are under, the challenges they face.

There aren’t many school teaching staff who can go home at the end of the day and switch off completely.

My wife, Clare, works as a Teaching Assistant at a local primary school.  She supports a couple of children who have some additional needs, ensuring that they are well supported and cared for, that they are able to learn, and that they get the most out of their time at school.

She then returns home to care for our own additional needs child who is Autistic, has Learning Disability, and has Epilepsy.

Like many teaching staff in similar positions, Clare’s roles at school and at home overlap; complementing each other but complicating each other too!

On the plus side, Clare brings huge experience of caring for a child with complex and developing additional needs at home into the school environment, where that experience can be a huge help to the rest of the teaching team as well as the children she supports and their families.

Some of what Clare learns and the experience that she gains at school can be helpful at home too!

One the negative side, caring for children with additional needs at school, as well as at home, means that there is no break, no respite from high intensity care.

No opportunity to unwind after a stressful, sometime really challenging day at school.

24/7 caring can be and is sometimes draining, but Clare keeps going and does her very best both for the children at school and our own additional needs child at home, while also not forgetting our other child.

When there has been a school holiday, or perhaps even a long weekend like the one just gone, the staff room will be full of stories of staff who have been away for exotic trips somewhere, or have enjoyed a spa weekend.

Clare has no stories like that… her stories are of continuing to care for and clean up after our disabled child; sometimes returning to school exhausted after a school holiday rather than refreshed.

Why does she do it?

Because she knows from our own experience how valuable the support given at school to children with additional needs or disabilities, and their families, can be.

We’ve benefitted greatly from the care and support given to our own son over the years.

Clare can give a little back, and so does so to help those families, like ours, that need it most.

So, this Teacher’s Day (and please, let’s extend that to ALL teaching staff and volunteers), let’s celebrate the many caring individuals who do so much to support and nurture our children.

Let’s show them the support, respect, and appreciation that they deserve.

And if one day the member of the school teaching staff that we’re seeing or talking to looks a little frazzled, think about what, or who, they might have left at home to come and care for our children; you might just be talking to someone like Clare.

Happy Teacher’s (and teaching staff and volunteers) Day!

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Mark Arnold

Meet Our Blogger

Mark heads up Urban Saints pioneering additional needs ministry programme and is co-founder of the ‘Additional Needs Alliance’, a learning and support community. He is a ‘Churches for All’ partner, a member of both the ‘Council for Disabled Children’ and the ‘Living Fully Network’, and serves on the executive for ‘Children Matter!’ Most importantly, he is dad to James, a 17-year-old Autistic boy with Learning Difficulties and Epilepsy.

View Mark’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on

Purchases on £99+

UK Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of £99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on purchases of £99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 4-month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 4 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • Any remaining balance due after the 4-month promotional period or any transactions under £99 will be charged interest at 19.9% p.a. (variable).

Purchases of £98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend £98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • In order to maintain the 0% offer, you need to keep up monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. UK residents only.

Please wait...