I absolutely love August! Yes I’m a teacher. Yes I get long holidays. Yes, I love my job!
I tend to spend the last week of July or the first week of the summer break still running around slightly manically with my brain buzzing. I reflect on the year gone by with a bit of a – could have, should have, would have attitude and make lots of plans for the year ahead. Then the 1st August strikes and my brain stops. It is as if everything goes into slow motion. According to my Fit Bit my average heart rate is 4 beats slower in August than the rest of the year. I physically and mentally slow down and I love it!
Long summer days with friends and family, lots of opportunities to go to the gym (which I have actually done this summer), family holidays, late nights and generally a lovely relaxed atmosphere pervades my life. It’s great!
Then September looms and this year I am feeling really positive and excited. We had our first INSET day of the year on Friday and it was so lovely to be back with a group of professionals who I really admire, appreciate and like. I honestly think that we are truly blessed to have a great team of committed individuals who bring together vast expertise. We really do now have the right people on the right seats of the bus and we are definitely heading in the right direction. This is the start of my fifth September as a Head teacher and I truly believe that this is going to be the best year ever!
We have titled this school year the ‘know thy impact’ year. Everybody I work with, without exception, works incredibly hard and this year the question that will echo around our campuses is ‘so what?’ What difference is what you are doing making to the children and families you are working with? If it is taking you a long time (or a short time) and making no difference…stop. Keep asking the impact question. Our crew this year just seem so up for this approach.
On Friday, we started our INSET by thinking about our retirement day and what values we would like to be remembered for using some great ideas from @TomRees_77 in his book ‘Wholesome Leadership’. This set the scene for the day ahead. Our leaders explained their part of the picture to staff old and new, our Executive Principal outlined Trust vision, we undertook teacher appraisals and everyone left just buzzing and raring to go. We are trialling some new approaches and sticking with many old ideas that work. Everyone is encouraged to read, we have built in time for individual action research, there are opportunities for coaching and everyone is genuinely proud to be part of our fab family.
As a church school, we often ask candidates at interview what their favourite church value is. There obviously isn’t a right answer but mine is hope. I truly hope that the way that I and the rest of the crew feel right now, continues to permeate our school and our community. We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to spend our days with young people and make a real positive difference to their lives.
Here’s to 2018-19 being full of hope; where we all make a positive impact both within and beyond our schools- that is how we will continue to develop responsible citizens to create an even better future. Maybe only then will we know the real impact we have had.