I have had some gentle encouragement to begin this blog again and I did get quite a surprise when I looked at it and realised it had been over a year since I last wrote in it.
Quite a lot has changed since then. Not long after that last post I became full time Acting Head Teacher as my HT’s secondment became full time. She then went on maternity leave and so I have continuously been acting head for over a year now.
I have got calmer at home than I was initially, with not so many sleepless nights, although I still struggle with comfort eating! Especially since about November I have worked hard on work life balance as I am running many miles alongside other exercise and am working hard to fit it all in.
I know it is a cliche but the past year has certainly been a major roller coaster of a ride. Some things I have had to deal with are not really appropriate for writing about publicly but some others will be worth reflecting on here.
I have still been enjoying reading this blog, School Leadership – A Scottish Perspective
and George’s latest post on hearing an address by Sir John Jones struck several chords. I heard him speak at our SQH awards ceremony and was similarly inspired and this post was great to be reminded of that.
George talks of how you learn most about yourself and your team when things are not going well and I certainly saw this happen last term. In November a much loved, long serving member of clerical staff died after a sudden, short illness.
This would be a difficult situation to deal with in any place of work but in a school not only did I have the staff to inform and support but we had to tell the children and then the parents. The hardest part was then doing our weekly assembly the next day which had all of the pupils and a large number of parents and members of the community there. I am sure that assembly will remain one of the hardest things I ever have to do as a school leader and it took me the whole weekend to recover from just from that.
However I drew strength to be a leader every day during this time from all of the staff within the school, and many of our parents. Everyone was so supportive of each other and to the children and it really showed the way the whole school community could pull together. I was so proud of being a part of that, although it was in the worst possible circumstances.
And about myself…I certainly learned that I could hold it together and be there for other people when it really matters. Although I do not very find it easy to admit when I think I have done something well I know that I dealt with this as sensitively as I could, consistently tried to look after everyone (and people did a good job of looking after me too) and took their feelings and opinions into account when making decisions. I sought advice from others but also trusted my instincts and did what I thought was right at the time.