School assistant

How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?

My initial position was as part time first aider and was advertised via Scottish Borders Council. More hours became available as a school assistant and I applied and was successful and combine the role as first aider and office administration.


What was your journey to reach the role you are in today? (talk perhaps about education/choices/university, college, training or apprenticeships/ CPD or professional exams/job progression)

I have an 'ONC' is physiological measurement and worked at the ERI for 5 yrs so when the first aider position came up I was 'qualified' and experienced.


Talk me through a day in your life... what sorts of things would it involve?

All aspects of first aid, from pupils being sick, not feeling well to epilepsy and diabetes. not a day goes by without a lot of blood, cuts and grazes! the phone rings non-stop in the office with questions, queries, complaints and very strange requests! i have to make sure all pupils are registered and accounted for throughout the day. i have to carry out tasks directed by teachers and smt at the drop of a hat and therefore have to be organised and disciplined.


Was it your planned career when you were 18?

No. I always wanted to be a PE teacher but didn’t have the qualifications to get into university.


What did your mum and dad want you to do?

As long as it was a full-time job with propects in a well structured organisation and made me happy then they were happy. My parents have always had an excellent work ethic which was passed onto myself and siblings.


What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?

Even if you don't have the necessary qualifications apply anyway! fill your applications with lots of enthusiasm and positivity. Experience, whether it's voluntary or paid work always helps. Enrol on an evening class or open learning course.


What other directions could you go in /work in within your field other than the job you have chosen?

I could apply to work in other organisations within an office environment or apply to work in the care/medical sector.


If there is anything you have not covered about your area of expertise, please feel free to add here.

A lot of what goes on during my day cannot be planned and the day never ever goes the way you want it to go and I regularly go home with a spinning head! Working in close contact with the pupils is both very rewarding and very frustrating especially when they start crying or shouting at you! However, I do genuinely my job and don't want to leave it until I retire!