So, I started a blog a while back then let it lapse. Time, work life balance and pesky things like that got in the way.
Today I went to #TLT14 and delivered a workshop to a rather lovely, unexpectedly large and enthusiastic audience about some of the things we are doing at our school to try and make a difference to the lives of the young people in our care.
As I spoke to the group they seemed quite interested in what I was saying and started asking me questions and if they could e-mail me about what I was saying and I found myself thinking (as I spoke, multi-tasking-tastic) “Hmmm, I really should write a blogpost about this…. in fact I really should start doing the odd blogpost, I quite like it”. This is not to contradict what I have said at the top of this page, time constraints and my multi roles as a mother of 3 small people, wife and Deputy Head will never allow me the luxury of writing as regularly as I like, but I like to write and so I shall. Today is a good day. This is my new blog.
I am going to post tomorrow about what I spoke about at #TLT14, but for now, I thought I would repost the short guest blog I wrote for the wonderful @MartynReah (I can say this with authority today having actually met him earlier!) whose blog http://martynreah.wordpress.com/ has enabled some fabulous people to share their ideas and thoughts about the “King of Jobs” (you know, ours). What I wrote inspired the title of this blog and is a question I ask myself daily to keep myself on track at home and at school. What do I stand for?
I was privileged to hear Stuart Lancaster speak @pixlclub main meeting a couple of weeks ago. Inspiring and full of passion and commitment, he spoke of how he went about changing the culture within the England rugby camp following his appointment as Head Coach. How he created with players a sense of what it meant for them to put on the rose emblazoned shirt and step on to the pitch to represent their country. He made me reflect on how absolutely vital a shared vision is for any successful team.
“We have high expectations. We work together. We provide a values based education. We go the extra mile for every student. Above all else, we are a place of learning.”
In a nutshell, the core principles of the school in which I teach and help to lead. They are based on the collective beliefs and values of every single member of our staff – teaching and non-teaching – brought together over Term 6 last year. They are something which, for me, epitomise what every school should know and understand; the answer to the question Stuart Lancaster asked his players and that we should all ask ourselves – “what do you stand for?”
Shared vision and a collective ideology should be the basis of everything we do as team in a school. A fundamental understanding of why we arrive there every day and why our students often occupy more than their fair share of our waking thoughts brings meaning to our work and reaffirms our vocation.
A shared goal gives meaning to the endless hours spent planning and marking, to the great lengths we go to supporting students who are struggling, who come into school because it is their haven, to the occasions where we look at the clock and wonder where the time has gone and to the sense of wonder on pay day that we are remunerated for having such fun. We share ourselves without question because we care. We feel that we have something to fight for.
I am blessed to work with a group of staff who own our vision for our students. They created it, they believe in it, they breathe it. For them, superlatives fail me. Awesome is probably the best fit. We know what we stand for. Do you?