Nurture15/16

Hmm…taken a bit of time to do this one…mainly because, well, it turns out that left handed only typing on an iPad is somewhat slow…and, I’m really really hoping that the nonsense about whatever you are doing at midnight on New Year’s Eve sets a precedent for the coming year is exactly that. Nonsense. Otherwise one of the first things on my targets might are longer than expected.  Get rid of this sling, get my shoulder sorted with the help of Drs and an osteopath (at the advice of a very wise and respected @japenn56 and take an old sporting injury seriously having largely ignored it for 14 years. 

 
So, last year. Mixed bag, if I’m honest. Completed Aspiring Headteacher course and very useful it was too, completed my Ofsted Inspector training, with my MA in school leadership aspects scoring 96 & 98% respectively…then reread my Nurture blog and the comments, in particular the ones from @chemistrypoets to reconsider my career path; decided to go ahead with plan and apply for a HT post.  I applied without a huge sense of optimism, which for me is unheard of and was distinctly unnerving for people close to me.  It was a local school and some people with a great deal more experience than I were shortlisted for it, two existing HTs and my DH from when I was an NQT 20 years ago. As it was, I threw everything at it as I genuinely thought that I could do a good job there,  it had some difficulties that were apparent as soon I I spent any length of time there.  As it was, the panel were split, but the tie breaker vote didn’t go my way. So, the hunt for the right school is still on.  I am hugely concerned by the current treatment of teachers in this country and by proxy the education system that our children experience and the onwards trends that are evident; however, surely the best way to deal with this is from within and help this teaching our children to do a truly great job, challenging them, yet supporting and looking after them. That is target 2- HT job and supporting staff & pupils.  Just because I have a different views on how education should be to our glorious leaders, please don’t mistake it for a lack of ambition for the children or lack of high expectations.

Review of 3 peak challenge….scuppered by injury (again) and by events at home and school meaning that timings just weren’t feasible…but this year…this year I will do something along these lines.  Perhaps, more along the lines of climbing Helvellyn, swimming across Ullswater and walking around Windermere in 24hours….

  
I’ve had some success though in the past year.  I’ve had someone homework books published (albeit after wrestling with conscience as I have mixed views towards homework – but at least I know that they are decent!), I am in the process of writing for Marvel, which is pretty exciting.  An article in TES about some of our innovative work with pupil premium funding was well received. All of which has meant that a novel has been started and With my ill gotten gains I managed to escape with my wife for 5 days without kids to Croatia for a much needed rest. And so I come to my next targets, to continue writing and also to rest more. Do they seem incompatible? Maybe, but I find writing enjoyable and it is some time just for me…without anyone asking me a question or 57. I attended ResearchEd again, but this time speaking on a panel with some great colleagues (Sinead Gaffney, Bill Lord, Jon Brunskill and Ric Farrow) about research in primary, an area that we really need to consider in more depth. More importantly the post conference discourse in the pub as as valuable as ever! Later in the year saw me talking to a room full of teachers at an Optimus conference where I had to follow from Michael Tidd, who shamelessly stole much of my thunder, but had already warned me en route to conference…so that was alright, I also found myself in the company of Stephen Lockyer and Leah Sharp, who made me laugh and brought out the worst in me…

Most of all though, 2016 will be a year when I make big choices with my family.  My daughter will head into Year 6- my place of work will impact on where we live.  We are pondering at length; London or outside the big city? Or even abroad? Mixed school or single sex? (Importantly for my daughter, do they play hockey and if not why not?) Whatever we decide, life will be interesting and there to be grabbed hold of and do to our utmost, even if it is resting…or perhaps that should be, especially if we’re resting.

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