Once again, I appear to have made a faux pas or two (or possibly more!). Over the holidays I have been updating the governors’ visiting policy. My first mistake; I offered (apparently) to do it about six months ago and it is only because of a change of clerk that the old paperwork has reared its ugly head again. Don’t remember offering, but often I don’t remember to brush my hair in the mornings these days, so I am sure that I did.
As I read through it, my skin went cold. I have made two classroom visits so far this year and it seems that I have barged in like a bear with a sore head and potentially upset EVERYBODY.
Here are the things that I failed to do: 1) Always agree an appointment time with the Head Teacher and the member of staff before visiting. (Oops, didn’t mention the visit to the Head in advance, although I wasn’t so dumb as to not speak to the teacher about my visit.) 2) Agree a focus of your visit with the member of staff before you arrive, say how long you will stay and ask them what they want you to look at. (Failed on all accounts, I’m afraid, although I did focus on the aspect of the SDP previously agreed by governors.) 3) Don’t speak to the children unless invited to do so by the teacher. (Uh-oh! But how could I not speak to them? They were all so proud of what they were doing and talked to me about it. I actually disagree with this aspect of the policy – obviously, I wouldn’t interrupt a lesson by talking to a child, but while they are going about their own work, how can it possibly harm to have someone ask them about what they are doing?) 4) Write a report about your visit and make an appointment to discuss this with the Head Teacher, who will then distribute your report to the relevant parties. (I did, at least, write a report. And I did give it to the Head, but I didn’t talk to her about it – there was nothing world shattering in it that was going to upset anyone, so I didn’t see the need.)
5) Discuss the visit at the next governors’ meeting. (No one else has ever done this, so it didn’t cross my mind to.)
I have an appointment this week with the Head to discuss the policy, so maybe I can go in on bended knee and apologise for my errors. And then suggest that some aspects of the policy are changed a little….