(girl) Work with...

That was "Work with Mrs Genovesa,"

so that means that we're going to finish it together, OK?

So copy up what you've done so far...

(man) Meet Julie Genovesa.

This is her Year Four class at Buttsbury Junior School in Billericay in Essex.

Could you uncross my legs, please? Thank you.

Do you want them crossed the other way?

Before I went into teaching

I was a business analyst in the City in commodity trading.

I became a teacher when I fell pregnant with my son.

I'd done teaching for only a year

before I was diagnosed with motor neurone.

(children) ..18, 19, 20.

- She's a fun teacher. - Very fun.

- She's my best teacher so far. - Yes.

"..the big red bug in the pot."

Fantastic. I'm very proud of you, Christopher.

It was a huge blow.

I was told some years ago now, five years ago,

that I'd got motor neurone disease,

that it was incurable, progressive and terminal

and that I should expect to live for another 18 months.

And that was it.

- (man) That was five years ago? - Yes.

- What is it now? - (man) She's reading us a story.

- Do you like that? - Yes.

This is a real lady and she's told us her story.

Can you hear me, Tommy?

We trained Julie, we're a training school,

and that went very well indeed, her training year in Year Three.

And as head teacher I'm always on the lookout for good teachers

and I snapped her up.

And it was a blow for us when the diagnosis came through.

And everybody was totally dumbfounded.

I went into a wheelchair

during my first year of coming back to school.

(Vaughan) Our response was she's a member of staff,

a valued member of staff,

we have to adjust to enable her to stay in the school.

Once I'd convinced the medical professionals

that I actually wanted to work,

they did everything in their power to help me to do it.

I didn't wear my ventilator quite so often then.

That's been introduced and now I have to wear it 24 hours a day.

But the children have just accepted it and I get on with it.

Motor neurone disease.

- (man) What does that do? - I don't know.

It stops all her muscles from working properly.

- Very brave. - Yes. Really good teacher.

- Smiley, funny. - Funny. Yes. Really funny.

The other adjustment we've needed to do

is to ensure that she has more teaching assistant support,

and she has voluntary help in terms of any caring needs that she has

when she's in school.

We're her hands and feet, so if she needs something written on the board,

tea made, lunch fed, errands run, kids helped...

Whatever it takes, really. Any personal needs.

Moving her arms and legs, that type of thing.

(Vaughan) She is a model for anyone that is managing to cope

with being very different from the rest of us, as such.

And that's very good for the children.

But here we are five or six years on

and it's a very positive story, I think,

for her and for the school.

If you want to do it, carry on.

It's not your fault that you're ill.

I don't need my arms or my legs to teach effectively,

therefore I carry on teaching.

"We would see a stork flying high in the sky

with our new baby."

"I was hungry..."