A while since my last post. The pace of headship together with family life has squeezed my spare time and best intentions have slipped to become hopes.
I have started my first full year of headship following my initial summer term transition. I read books, took advice, listened, watched. The advice was simple, look, listen and learn before committing to any changes. So I looked and listened and found water leaks, extensive building projects, relocated classrooms, staff leaving, budget challenges, vandalism and trees felled by neighbours.
The decisions came much quicker than I would have imagined. leaking pipes underground with a leaking roof above. classrooms to be rebuilt with limited space to relocate. These early questions were difficult to answer. A combination of lack of knowledge, together with a lack of experience could make for a toxic combination. It is,however, on these occasions when we are forced to listen further and use the experience of others. Something that I have been enormously grateful for.
I went into headship confident, experienced and knowledgeable in primary education. I went with little experience of building projects, land law or an understanding of British water pipe and irrigation systems. It has become apparent, quickly, that this is perhaps a role that it is very difficult to gain experience in unless the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ presents itself.
I became a father confident, experienced and knowledgeable on children. With little experience on waking at 2am, 3am and 4. Nothing prepared me for the emotion of pride at watching my children learn to crawl, walk, run and talk. I wasn’t ready for the time taken to bath, dress, feed then dress again. I was not aware of how it would feel to watch my daughter on her first day at school. No fear, no worries, no expectations. Just pure, unfiltered excitement,
Not once, sadly for me, did she ask about water connections, who was responsible for the trees, which budget code her books would come from. She failed to ask about guttering, perimeter fencing or how many square meters her class would need. She just wanted to go to school…..and have lunch.
My four year old does not go to my school. On Monday the 4th of September she started school. While I held back the tears as I watched my baby, my pride and joy, my first born take her first steps into the education system, I searched for the right words. My daughter turned to me and said ‘Don’t worry Daddy, everything is going to be alright’.
And how right she is. Everything is going to be alright. It is not about leaks, land law, budgets and lack of laminating pouches.
Its about the excitement of learning and experiencing something new. Changes are challenging and can be unnerving. But learning is magical. Schools and teachers are creating memories that last a lifetime.
They will be magical memories at our school. So don’t worry. Everything’s going to alright.