I have never really blogged much apart from the occasional brief post, so posting this is a real step forward for me.
I want to start with how I feel sometimes in teaching, particularly as part of the LT. Above is a picture of me at North Berwick GC in a big beach bunker. I took three swipes to move the ball 20 yards, then hit the next shot right by the hole. Teaching I think, particularly in my career anyway, can be like this. Slowly, moving the school forward with lots of effort and sweat for what seems like very little gain. Then ‘BAMM’ a stroke of genius and the school lurches forwards with everyone on board, and I sit back thinking why didn’t I do that (3 shots) months ago??
For years we were happy just the two of us, then we realised, it was now or never. Our bundle of joy arrived just before Christmas last year, and I know its cliche, but everything changed. I wish sometimes I had the stamina of a 25 year old, as I chase him around, or i’m so tired at 3am, I could just cry. But being an older dad has benefits too, financially stable (although it doesn’t feel like that after childcare!!) and most importantly far more life aware than I was at 25. I save my biggest debt of gratitude for my wife, without who I couldn’t do the the job I do. When I’m leaving her again, with a 1 year old to put to bed, as I blast back to work to see another governors’ meeting or presentation evening. The unsung heroes of school LTs are the families that support us?
It’s been a revelation/revolution for me. I have been tweeting for years but as a usual tweeter (main events/news/sport/etc) then I made a conscious effort to open another professional feed, and wow, it’s been fantastic. Chatting, watching, admiring and above all sharing ideas with like minded colleagues has been amazing. As I say to everyone who will listen ‘Twitter is the best free CPD anywhere, and you cant afford to be left behind’. Thanks to all, particularly the @SLTchat gang on a Sunday night, it has been brilliant fun, and so enlightening to communicate with you all.
For one reason or another I didn’t teach last year, and I missed it hugely, so this year when I was allocated three wonderful classes, I have thrown every ounce of my teaching skill at them. The iPad revolution has really impacted at school, and having students with 1:1 devices has just given new avenues to explore. I have tried to lead on innovation with the iPad at school and change minds. Some of the results have been wonderful. But I am still learning and always will be!!
It’s time to rethink again and look for new challenges, I still love my job, and love the school and students, but realised a few years ago, I am ready for the next step. That however has proved difficult, a few interviews, but things weren’t right and at deputy level, I think it needs to be a mutual ‘want’.
It’s another cliche but ‘be more strategic’ but I don’t want to sacrifice what matters most to me and that is the school community. The students, their parents and the staff are what makes a school and I will continue my endeavours to help lead them well with every ounce of my work.
Make it work both ways, be successful in work, but a good dad, husband, son and friend too. Easy to say hard to do!!
My oldest and best friend gets married in April and I have moved mountains to go with him to Las Vegas. I have planned it, sacrificed a lot to pay for it, and will enjoy it hugely. The Grand Canyon helicopter flight will be awesome, but I have also contacted an American Advanced Tech High School in Nevada for a visit for a Morning. I have so many US twitter colleagues, and I have always wanted to visit a US high school and now I will get to do it. It will be interesting, and I wonder how different they are from UK schools?
I want to share the ideas I have with a wider audience and I suppose Twitter is the place for that, but I also pledge to blog more and also want to do #teachmeets and hopefully the #SLTcamp. I do have to work harder in school on my polishing/finishing of my projects as that is something I must work to improve.
I would like to be one of these and intend to apply once I have a learning portfolio of innovation with Apple devices to be proud of. Its a dream but an achievable one I hope?
And finally that wasn’t too bad, blogging is quite fun!
Best wishes to all