For the last 15 months I’ve been on SLT. Initially I was seconded as an Assistant Principal, and then did it ‘properly’ since January 2014, all at Hethersett Academy in Norfolk.
Last October, I applied for (and got) a new role teaching maths and leading numeracy at Flegg High School (much more to come on that). A step away from SLT, but something that I am hugely looking forward to.
Why? A few different reasons. The major one was that I missed teaching as much as I had been previously. I also had worked there from my NQT year (for 7.5 years) so it was probably a good time to move on to something else. There were others, which might be for another time. However, none of this is that important, what is (for me), is what I’ve learned from the experience, and perhaps what others can, too.
What did I learn? A lot. But I think it can be distilled into a few things…
– Teaching is still the most important thing you do, don’t lose sight of that, because….
– You need to first and foremost still be a good classroom practitioner. If you want people to believe in you as a leader, you have to show you can actually ‘practice what you preach’, day in day out. Even if teaching isn’t the bulk of what you do, it must be good all of the time, and it must be open for people to come and see, as well.
– You will have a lot to do, but so does everyone else (on and off SLT). You have to find time for the people you are leading, and don’t lose sight of what they are doing even if they are ‘only’ a mainscale teacher, ‘only’ teaching 22 hours a week and doing all the associated things with it. Don’t ever be too busy to see the staff you lead or manage.
– Time is precious to you, so it will be to others; if you are going to ask them to do something, great – but will it benefit the students, and is it a good use of the time that the member of staff has available?
– Enjoy it! I did, and I hope to again the future. Whether that is in 6 months or 6 years I’m not quite sure right now, but enjoy it, learn from it, and remember who you are there to serve…
Onwards – to the land of numeracy…