I cannot believe how little work I’ve done over these holidays. It’s incredible. I’ve never had a summer like it. Normally there are things know I can spend a few days doing here and there.
This year I’ve done NOTHING. I’ve worked so hard in my first year at my new school that I just needed a complete and utter rest.
The most work I’ve done for many weeks is the ironing – up until today yesterday anyway. Well actually that’s not true, I did spend our anniversary weekend away (we were going to a friend’s wedding anyway, it’s 5 years of marriage and so it seemed sensible to make a big deal of it) stuffing envelopes with letters telling the former Year 11s when to come into school for their exam results. We ‘lost’ our examinations officer in the last week of the summer term and it feels a bit like déjà vu as we didn’t have one this time last year (except that this time I sort of know what I’m doing). The kids were in at 10.00am, I just finished talking to the local reporter in time to guide him to the two pupils with 23 GCSEs including 18 A and A* grades between them. I also entrusted the other deputy (!) to use my video camcorder to record the happy and sad faces of pupils as they got their results. I had a desk for the 8 pupils who had just missed getting 5 A*-C grades who we think we can help through remarks and sitting the Adult Literacy and Numeracy online tests (guess what I’m doing later today?!) Our results have basically stayed the same (which isn’t what we needed but was more than I’d hoped for). If we can build on this we’ll get where we really ought to be next year.
I’ve only really been back in school for a couple of days and I’m already feeling exhausted, thank goodness for the bank holiday weekend.
So next Friday is Year 6 induction day.
We get them and their parents in on the Thursday evening – I so need to finish my speech !
They have lessons and meet their Heads of House on the Friday (I so need to finish THAT timetable).
We disguise it as induction but from my point of view it’s all about assessment (they have online tests, English Department gets a sample of their handwriting, they do group work and listening in Music) and then I can start putting them into sets.
EVERY member of staff has been told to tell us of anyone that stands out (good or bad) – forewarned is forearmed after all!
It’s a nice day really, the only thing that never gets better is 150 little children calling “miss miss” all day – there was a reason I never went into Primary School teaching!
Have I been a bit negative recently? I’m reading Libby’s post about her being called a miserable cow and wondering if I’m in danger of being called the same because of my conveyance of my current school experiences!
I’m just starting to plan a very positive school event and I thought I’d try to sound a bit more upbeat. I’m planning the final fine detail for our Year 6 transition Parents evening and the subsequent pupil induction day. It’s so uplifting to think about the new group of pupils who are about to join us.
They don’t know any of us (at most they know of us through siblings); for the most part they will be lively, enthusiastic and a breath of fresh air and in a fortnight’s time I’ll completely loose my cynical edge for a couple of hours as we pray for the five years we’ll spend together.
In my plans I’m using staff roles as they will be from September and so it’s also made me think about the fact that I’ll be a Deputy Head in a few months’ time. That always brings a smile to my face (mainly a wry one as I wonder how I managed to fool so many people into thinking I was up to it); the new senior team business cards have been ordered and the team is forging forwards. Our new Assistant Headteacher is already attending meetings and is beginning to find her feet.
Anyway, back to the transition events: I don’t think I realised when I first started teaching how much of a logistics expert I would become. I’ve just spent at least 20 minutes thinking about which doorway it’s better for parents to come into as they’ll be coming from the playground (which we turn into a car park for the evening). I’ve also spelt out for the caretakers – Exactly how I want the 350 chairs in the hall to be grouped (there are 5 Houses so that worked out well even without my being a Mathematician), – what time I want the welcome signs put up by (5.30pm and not a minute later) Whilst for the ICT technician – Which events he can use for the PowerPoint presentation loop to be played as parents and Year 6 enter the hall. – How I want to position the projector screen and the chairs for the senior leadership and Heads of House on the stage – The list goes on, I won’t bother you with the detail but it got me wondering about my anally retentive qualities (as I type I’m also online treating myself to a filofax so that I can keep my to-do list, planner and diary all in one place)
Are men up to it?
There’s something about management roles that require a close eye for detail and I have a rather sexist view of a man’s ability to get it right. Perhaps I’m just looking back to how my husband coped as my then fiancé trying to help with the wedding plans; or my previous boss who couldn’t organise the proverbial in a brewery (I had a magnet on my filing cabinet asking people if they wanted to speak to “the man in charge or the woman who knows what’s going on”); ………….. I’m getting negative again and I really didn’t mean to! Seriously though, there are big differences between leading a team and managing an event but I think that by the time you get to senior leadership level you should have a good mastery of both, no matter what your gender, and yet when I look at the faces around our SLT table the divide seems quite clear.
What’s it look like in your school?