Time is a weird thing in education. It feels like since I started teaching in September 2014 that the educational world has progressed to something completely different already. I do recognise however that with changes in statutory assessment, a brand-spanking new Curriculum, farcically implemented new Assessments and Pupil Premium paranoia setting in, I could probably be forgiven for feeling that. Also, the fact I came into my school with temporary new Heads close behind me and they prepared the school until our current Head followed the next year, it isn’t surprising I have felt this way!
Time also waits for no teacher! Whilst I still can’t believe I have only been teaching for 2 1/3 academic years, it does feel like a lifetime ago I was regularly writing blog posts! Long ago is the time I was introduced with the statement “A new blogger appears on the block :)” – (Stephen Tierney, Executive Headteacher, @LeadingLearner” and long ago is the time I had an article feature on the most influential UK teacher blog – Teacher Toolkit – to the point…well just look at the views on my blog over the last three years:
As you can see, the deeper I’ve gotten into teaching and taking on responsibility, the less I have networked and blogged…surprised? No. It is the fact that I bemoaned before teaching full-time and wanted to avoid myself – there are a lot of outstanding practitioners who, due to the overwhelming workload, do not get chance to share their incredible practice…fortunately it is Christmas and I am getting more experienced in planning well ahead so I have a chance to sit as my wife enjoys the Christmas Bake Off. I have looked at one of my recent blog posts (RQT Resolutions) and I am happy to report that I have met them all despite not blogging as I now want to again! We had great results (for our school) in the 2015-16 SATs and I am very, VERY involved in developing teaching and learning in the school. Things are going well…here are some belated resolutions for my 3rd year in teaching:
1. Keep my home-work life balance
This has been, and will always be, my first goal each year. My family are the most important thing to me. I will certainly not be trading them for a successful career in teaching – I would change jobs before that happened. Obviously it can be done but it will require time management and careful a selection of priorities. I look around at some of the staff in my school who have families of their own and wonder how they can manage to do what they do! I now have a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. My own son is now entrenched into the education system, and I am now starting to see how depressing it can be for parents, to try and get their children to jump hoops at such a young age. At least it will be another source for blog posts…but for another time!
2. Complete NPQML Qualification
Yes – I have taken the plunge. I am in the middle of completing my next qualification after my ITT. I am leading a team to develop the style of Maths learning across the school, to develop Maths vocabulary and talk in our 80% EAL school. I have asked, pitched and championing a ‘Talk4Maths’ approach, which you all will be hearing about very soon – watch this space! 😉
3. Maintain amazing start to PE Leadership
I’ll probably go into more detail about the steps in this particular journey but, simply, I was asked in November 2015 to take on leadership of PE and Sport in my RQT Year, the school had previously achieved not much more than Bronze in the School Games Award (a nationally recognised mark for PE and Sport). We moved the school to receive Gold in the same award (the highest category possible), receive a visit from Sue Smith (ex-International Women’s Football Player) and we named the Trafford School of the Year for Sport. As any leader should, I will say now it was not down to me but the monumental effort provided by the staff in the school. I want to make sure this is maintained to the point that it will become a self-sustaining system and service the school provides.
(Now the big one…) 4. Publish a blog post every month
This is the minimum. I do want to try and post once every two weeks but I am anticipating that saying this during the relaxed Christmas holidays is easy – actually staying on top of this will be the challenge!
Roll on 2017 – and I look forward to sharing more with you all!