I did promise that I would be chronicling the journey … warts and all! (Mainly mine!) so here goes:
It’s Friday evening and I am absolutely “banjaxed” after a week that has been full of highs and lows. To those of you that have moved jobs in teaching, more than once (I’m not sure I want to do it again!) I really do salute you because this week, at times, I have been so far out of my comfort zone I may as well have been on the other side of the moon.
Throughout the week, the single over-arching theme has been the fact that the staff at the school are so friendly and everyone seems to want to genuinely help – no matter how silly the query has been, every single member of staff that I’ve had to deal with – without exception – has been brilliant. It all sounds very clichéd and I am aware that I am still in a honeymoon period, but so far it feels a little like my old school did 5 years ago, with a real “team spirit” and other people doing “whatever it takes” when helping someone else, and not just because they have to, but because they want to. There are, of course, always occasions when things get done because its part of the job but I do have to give special mention to the ICT guys, who have taken my nearly killing off a brand new laptop in their stride (sorry boss! It’s all good now and the coffee didn’t harm it in the slightest!) and been absolute superstars!
Monday started with whole school training/updates and I probably shouldn’t confess this (but I will!) the maths table had a sneaky “Ofsted Sweepstake” and Will won by being the closest to the 24 mentions of the “O” word! Sorry SLT, but you too have sat on the other side of the fence and you’ll know that it’s sometimes necessary to have a way of lightening the mood … and oh, there always has to be a “naughty” table … it’s the law, you know! We then had some time with the rest of the department and the day was a massive case of information overload. I am sure my brain was fizzing by the time I went home as there was just so much to absorb, both in terms of current policies etc. but also new stuff being introduced across the whole school.
What I have really struggled with is that fact that my track record with the students is gone. I have no reputation or relationship and am having to start from scratch. It’s been tougher than I expected with some groups and easier than I thought it would be with others – I can foresee that my behaviour management repertoire is going to have to be developed, more than I had considered it would be (and I’ve taught some challenging kids!). I had one particularly tough day but bounced back the next day and nailed it! I was absolutely buzzing! Some longer serving teachers may think that I’m sad getting all excited about actual teaching but that is where I am happiest and probably where I’m at my best.
Asserting yourself in a new school is tough. Fact. It has been really important to be seen out and about and so we’ve spent quite a lot of time between lessons on the corridor (we’ve always done this anyway) and “tuck your shirt in”, “where’s your blazer?”, “unroll that skirt waistband”, etc. etc. seem to be our phrases of the week. It has been nice that throughout the week the senior management team have had a presence on the corridor too – it’s been sort of comforting (I am only surmising, as nothing has been said but I suspect that we’re being mollycoddled a bit – thank you if that’s the case!) I had a little chuckle to myself at the end of lunch today to see the usual suspects walking down the maths corridor, tucking shirts in etc. before they got to us. There was a little bit of Kevin and Perry style stropping whilst doing it, but they’re getting there and I have quite a high boredom threshold so will keep on nagging as long as it takes.
After only one week my “to do” list is mahoosive. Seriously huge! But nowhere near as long as Seagers’ list, which is why, (in addition to being a new team) that we’ve made the decision not to take a SCITT student this month but I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to accommodate a PGCE student in the new year. This may be a route to replacing our temp teacher if the ad that is placed next week for a FT teacher is fruitless. The cost of an ad is going to be outrageous and I really do need to blog about it being almost scandalous that money that could be better spent in schools is being spent on recruitment ads! Ooh ooh blog post idea alert!
I am in awe of all you teachers that started a new job this week on your own. I’ve had a partner in crime with me all week – yes, he’s also my boss, but the roles are very clearly defined (at this point I usually joke that I do all the work and he takes all the glory … it’s not the case by the way!) and it works well for us. It’s been nice to be in this together and we seem to have “phase shifts” in terms of being on this roller coaster, so that when I’m “on one” he is all positive and vice versa.
Every day is a fresh start … roll on Monday!!