I get inspired very easily. I admit. But being inspired into action, now that is a very different thing altogether.
Twitter is inspiring, as are the blogs I have read for the #nurture1314, so much so, that I wanted to add my experiences and view to the mix, about what I believe it is to be a good teacher, good senior team member-in-waiting and and good human being as well.
What was 2013 for me…
Well, it was the year my husband of 16 years left me and our three children to be somewhere else. I had probably the hardest year of my life: selling the family home, dealing with teenage anger as well as primary school anger-converted-to-frequent-physical-ailments, keeping hold of my job as HoD and keeping hold of my sanity as he returned several times to see if he really wanted to be somewhere else or not.
We survived, I survived. I have always been a very positive person. I seek out solutions to everything. Unfortunately, I learnt one of the greatest lessons I could – you cannot solve everything, always especially when it comes to solving people’s behaviour. That act of letting go will (and has started to) enable me to become an infinitely better teacher. It has knocked the ego out of me and forced me to look at what IS and not what I expect or want something to be.
A older colleague at my school said to me, completely unbeknownst to him of my personal circumstances, which were at the time desperate and almost spinning out of control,
‘You can cope with the chaos of teenagers, when everything else is in place. If it isn’t, the whole thing can fall apart’. He was right. You cannot have so many plates spinning in the air at once. I explained my situation and put my children first, over and over again. I had to bring peace, solidarity and calm to home, before turning to the natural disorder of my day to day job.
It worked. I am still getting it right only sometimes, but that is the best foundation to build on. I started the academic year as a single mum to 3 (aged from 5-14), a full-time Head of Department and a human being who is finding out who she is again after being ‘part of’ someone else for so long.
And I am smiling, because I have never felt so proud of myself. I am more excited about my job than I have been for years, I am clearer about how to deal with students effectively, leading by example and showing respect, and I feel resilient.
Blah de blah de blah. Enough of the past behind me. What about 2014…
1) To deal with tough times ahead with the aforementioned resilience (anyone out of a marriage with kids has probably also learnt that it does drag on and on and on)
2) To gain outstanding – one satisfactory and 2 good’s. I know, I know – shallow and.. there’s that ego!
3) To write a theory book OR sign up for a doctorate next year
4) To keep my work life balance. Single mumdom forced me to change how I plan and prep. I have quality time at home and life is better for all.
5) To move towards a behaviour role in school – something I am starting to feel really passionate about.
6) To remind myself, I don’t have to get it right ALL the time. I am one person, doing many roles – from WWE wrestling in the living room (I kid you not), to running meetings, to making moody teenagers laugh at my rubbish jokes (at home and in school). I simply have to be honest about what I genuinely CAN do and what I CAN’T.
7) To keep being inspired into action thanks to @teachertoolkit, @LessonToolbox, @ASTsupportAAli, @miss_mcinerney, @tombennett71, @LearningSpy, @jillberry102
Welcome 2014! (and I will contribute something much more important and teacher-y next time)