Maybe this post should have been called “What I’d like to really say” .. I know today is going to be tough so wish me luck …
So the last day is here and all across the country most schools will gather their staff together for the obligatory leaving speeches and where I work is no different. The students have been hustled off the premises, classrooms locked down and the one thing on most peoples mind is “what time are we getting out of here?”. It’s true! The teaching year is relentless and most people just want the break to start and tomorrow will be no different. For 5 years now I have sat and listened as people talk about their time at the school and every year it is emotional as farewells are made, but until now I haven’t been through it myself and have only been an observer. I know I’ve only done five years and I’m also very aware that come September I will be a distant memory as the daily grind starts all over again but for a few minutes tomorrow I get to say goodbye. People have an impression that I am quite confident but I still find any kind of gushing public display of affection/emotion uncomfortable – so in the ideal world this is what I would like to say to colleagues both past and present:
I joined the school when it had been in National Challenge for a year, as an NQT. To be honest as soon as I walked into the building I knew it was somewhere I wanted to work (I played my cards close to my chest for the rest of the day though and played hard to get with Marion!) and the fact that she had a choice between myself and one other candidate helped my cause. I feel privileged to have been part of the school’s journey to where it is today, and I genuinely believe that there has been a real “in it together” attitude that meant staff were driven to deliver results, not only for their students but also because they wanted to do it for each other – some teachers would argue with this, but no-one wants to let anyone else down in my experience. The school is now truly “outstanding” and we don’t need Ofsted to tell us that – Most Improved School (Jan 2013) and Finalist for the last two years for TES Secondary School of the year is testament to that … but it is more than awards and gradings. It is about each and every one of you and our students.
The maths department is all “home-grown” and there is a real mix of personalities. In fact, guys, you can stop holding your breath now – I am sure you are sat there wondering what I am about to say – Trust me! I was listening when you said that I shouldn’t be my usual gobby self (I don’t know what you mean by the way!). I have enjoyed working as part of our team and thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting up with me – you have allowed me to be “me” and it has been amazing! In one way, shape or form every one of you has played an important part in this chapter of my life, and that’s the same with the whole teaching staff. Some have had lead parts and others more minor – last week one of you told me that you’re sad I’m leaving and it got me thinking about the fact that I too am sad and just starting to “let people in” and for a while I have wondered about “what could have been” had I been staying. The big loud self that most of you see is mostly front .. inside I am a big softie!
I came into teaching for a specific reason looking for a specific type of school and I have been blessed to have worked here – You have proven to me that teaching genuinely is the best j0b in the world. The students I have taught have made me realise what can be achieved, and some of them have done so much even when EVERYTHING is stacked against them. In the main they have been amazing – funny, genuine and honest to the point of it being painful and I will miss the banter that comes with a group you have taught for three years. There is never a right time to leave a school as there will always be a group that is “part-way” through their schooling and my current groups have blown me away. Serious tears!! However it is time to build those relationships in a new context with new students and I am excited about the next chapter.
Genuinely I feel honoured to have worked with you and at Trinity – Thank you, its’ been a blast!
IN REALITY I WILL PROBABLY SAY:
I would like to give each and everyone of you something – I am giving you five minutes of your life that you will never get back by just saying “Thank you and enjoy your holiday”.
One final thought … friends are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.