Mr funny face

So many faces to put names to. So many names to remember the face they belong to. A smile on my face that is now starting to look a little strange. An angry face to greet me first thing in the morning. A happy face when I enter a classroom. A confused face when attempting to understand midday supervision. So many faces.

The information highway is well and truly open. No longer sipping tiny bits of information but instead attempting to gulp down whole waves of data. The questions are coming thick and fast. The answers? Not so much. My mind is awash with ideas now. I am almost attempting to consume the whole school. I can quickly forget who I have spoke to, what has been said, what’s in the diary and how I got to work or more importantly how I get home. 

Within the space of four weeks I am now fully involved with the life of school. I think about it at night, when I get up, when I go to bed. I get excited with what might be, I am energised when I see something I think I can have positive impact on, the developments I see in school give me a real motivation to succeed. There are quick fixes, slow burners and long term projects.

I will be at the end of my 4th week on Friday. It is fair to say the days are flying by. I sit down at a desk around five in the afternoon and stare at my windows screen. I open word. Then publisher. Then email. Then a bit web browsing on the key for leaders, Trello, school website. I stare at the windows screen a little more. I like the icons on my desktop but feel that I need to start formulating a plan. 

I am now updating my STARS diagnostic weekly and almost daily. My focus is being drawn in key areas. I plan to share this in the coming weeks with the key team members from SLT. At the moment this is the inner workings of my head. This could prove to be  problematic. I need a clear strategic plan. A clear way of communicating my findings. Then a plan to move forward. There are policies, structures, staffing, procedures all to be looked at.

But why? Why all these….things. Because it is these ‘things’  will allow for greater focus. Greater purpose. Core purpose. Investment in teaching learning. Time on teaching and learning. 

More faces. Faces on the playground. Faces at the gate. Faces in the cars when I drive home.

The most important face? My daughters when I arrive home and spend time playing Mr Funny Face with her. 

Teaching is a calling.

Family is everything.

The First 10 days

Tomorrow I will host my first PAD as headteacher. It has perhaps come sooner than I would have liked but does enable me time to pause and reflect on my first few weeks.  I’m still smiling, still watching and still listening. There have been phone calls, emails, meetings, briefings and even the odd walk around school.

The role is varied and diverse, with many layers to be considered to each element. I can see how easy it could be to be spread too thinly. I am currently trying to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible but this can feel overwhelming at times. At times the information flow is slow and steady and almost refreshing, at other times it can be fast flowing and difficult to navigate.

I have met with all teachers, held one parents meeting with another planned later in the week, attended a governors meeting, met with key people from the LA. I have learnt most though from  my time in class. Walking around school. Speaking to children, looking at books, watching the learning that takes place. Each time I enter a classroom the children are still excited to see me, proud to show theirs books and keen to share their learning.

Schools can be complex places, with personalities, structures and systems. It would be easy to focus on these areas, become distracted with the enormous weight given to key areas in school. Most commonly this can be an over focus on data, assessment, health and safety or lunch times. There has certainly been some of my time spent on these areas.

Tomorrow will not be based on these areas. Tomorrow will be core purpose. Teaching and Learning. Thinking about where we have been, where are now but most importantly where we are going and how we will get there.