An impromptu post given that it is the first week of the so long-awaited Christmas holidays. A couple of days ago I put out a tweet which was little more than me thinking out loud. However, to date, it has garnered almost 800 likes and several responses. The tweet can be seen below.
This tweet was written as a positive reaction to a brief conversation I had with my Executive Head in the lunch hall on the second to last week of a very, very long term! I knew that a class that has one or two tricky characters in were likely to be even trickier given that we were so near the end of term and that general merriment was starting to be felt across the school. The lesson that I was due to have with them immediately after lunch was not to be their very last lesson of the term with me – I was due to see them again on the very last day where I had planned to down tools and show a film of their choice. As a result, I had an hour of work planned for this class on the day of my conversation, and I knew that this may cause general consternation amongst some of the students.
Consequently, I had no hesitation in approaching our Executive Head to enquire as to whether a member of SLT wouldn’t mind passing through my next lesson as they had been doing throughout the day. Knowing that I could count on that support was invaluable to me – it meant that, should I need it, I had consequences that could be carried through that would be for the benefit of the whole class to ensure that good quality teaching and learning could take place. The thought that I or my teaching may be viewed negatively did not enter my head that day – I knew that I would be met with a positive response and a member of SLT did indeed pass through as promised.
However, the response to this tweet has caused me to think that perhaps I take this support and level of approachability for granted in my school. My SLT operate an open door policy – literally. All are ready to listen and support, regardless of the issue. I’m unclear as to what I am really intending the overriding message of this blog to be – I’m more used to writing about educational theory rather than effective leadership and staff wellbeing. However, these elements are all part of the big package that we call teaching. And I firmly believe that we are all in this together. The positivity that comes from knowing senior staff and for that matter, all staff, will support you without judgement results not only in that support having an effective impact on teaching and learning in that particular member of staff’s classroom, but from a wider viewpoint, it spreads a feeling amongst staff that they are valued, supported and that we are all pushing together for the good of the students.
And happy teachers teach great lessons, after all!