“Two roads diverged in a wood and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference.”
Things always have a funny way of working themselves out. It may not always be the way you had wanted or imagined it, but God really does work in mysterious ways.
When I completed my NPQH, I thought nothing could stop me. I went for a couple of headships that now when I look back on, I am so happy I did not get. If I had, I never would have had my previous post as a deputy in a school in which I learnt so much and I definitely would not be where I am now….so, at the time, I may have thought that the jobs I was going for were where I really wanted to be but when I look back on it, I am now in a place far better than I ever could have imagined! God has truly blessed me and I never should have questioned the path he had me on. A word for those who are going for headships but have not been successful so far……it can get very disheartening, however, keep your head up, learn from every place you visit, from the questions you are asked and the exercises you complete….your perfect school is waiting for you, just be patient and know that God has a bigger plan which may look nothing like you expected.
In my opinion, no course, no previous position, experience or knowledge can fully prepare you for headship. Being a full time deputy, I knew what the position entailed and watched my head do the job every day. But actually sitting in the chair is a completely different experience! In any other post there is always some amount of ‘settling’ in time, but as a head you are thrown right into the core of things. Everyone; teachers, children, parents, and governors, all look to you expecting the answers and waiting for you to lead them. You don’t have time to ‘get used to the reins,’ you have to control them from the moment you walk through the front door. The previous head was excellent at the transition and spent a great deal of time with me, talking through everything that I needed to know. She had a transition book, with pages and pages filled in about everything from A-Z. I took copious notes and she answered hundreds of questions. But, before you are actually behind the desk, you can’t really understand the ‘school’ until you are there and ‘living’ it. I wish we both had known that as it would have saved her hours and hours of her time.
I think it was in my second week (after a very hectic first week of countless issues including two days of emergency plumbers so I could keep the school open – I was not about to close the school during my first few days – imagine how well that would have gone down with the parents!) when I sat in my office and looked around at mounting piles of paperwork and thought, ‘what have I got myself into, am I going to be able to do this job well?’ But, I took a deep breath and said to myself, “pull yourself together….of course you can do this, this is what you have be preparing for!”
There have been lots of ‘firsts’ for me these past two terms. I have learnt so much about headship, about our team and about myself. Even though I know that there will be challenging days (to say the least!) my confidence grows every day and I look forward to constantly learning new things. I can only hope that I learn from my mistakes and evaluate and improve on everything that I do as a leader. It makes me realise how important taking the time out to write like this everyday can actually be in helping to improve my practise.
In yesterday’s post, I said that I ‘jumped out of bed’ for my job. I do. I really do. I absolutely love what I am doing. I am helping to lead not only a school, but a community! We can all think back to teachers who inspired us to do something great or to become who we are today. It is these teachers who often have the biggest impact on our lives. I can only hope that some of the children that I have taught will look back one day and remember me as the one who inspired them to achieve more than they ever could have dreamed…..