Skip to main content

The senior leadership adventure: an update

2014-05-29 08.59.38

It’s been a while since I posted about my new job.  Not that it’s new anymore as it’s June (how did that happen!?!) and I’m four and a smidge weeks away from completing the first year in leadership.  I last posted 40 days in.  This blog has also been quite quiet. So why the gap?  I’ve created a graphic:

image

Throughout my career so far, I’ve always spoken from experience.  No hypotheticals.  The number of posts will increase I’m sure and the advice I can give is useful, when I’ve made an impact and have become competent at my job.  This year has been about laying foundations, figuring out what’s going on and coming up with plans.  It’s a bit like a steam train: you have to stoke the fire for ages and ages, the locomotive struggles out of the station and then quickly gets up to speed.

My feelings over the year are summed up by this:

image

I hope you get the picture….. Leaving my last school was like stepping off a sleek bullet train.  I knew my place within the organisation.  People understood me and where I came from, even if they didn’t agree with me. Looking back, the last two years leading Priory Geography was epic.  I doubt that I’ll work within such a dynamic again.  However, I forgot something.  I forgot how difficult the first three years were.  I forgot how much work there was to be done and how much I didn’t look forward to going in to work.  If you don’t have your own blog, start one.  If only for the simple reason that you can look back and remember without the rose tinted specs.

I guess I was a little arrogant and delusional expecting to step off the bullet train to join a similar vehicle, travelling in a similar direction.  In fact, I had to jump onto a totally different space rocket, with different ambitions, purpose and vision.  It was necessary to reinvent and to start carving out and defining my role within a different context. No one was going to do that for me.  Nor should they. It’s been a year of testing, breaking and building back my values and principles.  When I look back on this year, i wonder what I will think?

  • At the end of my NQT year is a nightmare school, I look back and know that I can handle any behaviour;
  • The first year at another school was heart-breaking: students with no chance of doing well, staff morale an all time low.
  • When I left another school, I wondered if I’d ever do any cool stuff ever again. (I did)

This year I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin and with my own leadership style.  I work within a great school, forward looking and with a top leadership team.  I’ve made an impact, but no where near enough.  I’m impatient and it’s time to change the world.  I rediscovered the video below this week.  I’d forgotten that everything worth having requires a struggle. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

#GAConf22: A paradigm shift for anti-racist, decolonised teaching and inclusion

 " You can't start a fire,  You can't start a fire without a spark" Bruce Springsteen.  Well, it's been a fair while since I felt the motivation or the need to blog. Whilst not a story for now, over the past five years I've danced along the knife edge and, often, the call of the abyss has been both tempting and compelling. Certainly, my failing in both my personal and professional life have been numerous. But. This is not about me, but the people that have (re)ignited the spark to the fire in my soul. I realise that this is from the perspective of a privileged, white, middle class male view. I even have a beard. I am scared of getting it wrong on this topic. Teach me if I am wrong, it is from the position of a learner. I was looking forward to the GA Conference this year, the first face to face since 2019. I have to say that Alan , as president, and the Geographical Association's team did a fantastic job at being inclusive. The hybrid format allowed peopl

What makes a learning experience profound? Personal reflections and possible implications for classroom practice.

I have recently begun a Leadership Pathways journey.  As part of the first core day, we were asked to reflect on a profound learning experience. This got me thinking about how many profound learning experiences I have both been involved in, and how many I have been able to give to others.  Our group came up with a huge long list, but these are my five. Emotional Connected Demanding Reflective Collaborative As always, these are personal thoughts and quite mixed up.  I put them here so that I can look back on them (plus they’d get lost inside my world-cup-free brain) 1. Emotional I can’t think of a time where deep learning hasn’t engaged my emotions.  From being awe inspired to that tingle feeling when a student gets a light bulb moment.  From this-is-the-happiest-day-ever, to I-think-I’m-about-to die.  How often do we engage the emotions of those we teach?  Here, I would argue that having a safe learning environment is not always conducive to profound

Trust and support our school leaders, the role of the governing body in the Covid times

One of the roles that I love is being the Chair of a Governing Body.  The aim of this post is to share what we are doing, as a Board, during these difficult time.  I will refrain from commenting on the role of the Government, DfE and local authority as I intend for this to be both a positive and useful post. What is clear is that governing bodies have a crucial part to play. I am grateful both to the brilliant Clerk and the National Governance Association whose Covid advice pages are fantastic. Firstly; from the outset, the brilliant leadership team that I work with have my unwavering and public support. Regardless. As this is a fast evolving crisis, often with pages of advice, guideline and directives to decipher and digest on a daily basis. As such, the role of governing bodies is twofold: 1.  to prioritise the providing of support to the Headteacher and all colleagues in the school, and 2. to allow them to get on with operational matters and decision making. The role of