I have been surprised by the lack of blogging and tweeting I have carried out in the past two months, and yet I know the reason why – a new job. It is a new role to me, and I am making every effort to make it my own as quickly and as easily as possible, and thought I would share some of the experiences I have gone through in this change.
1. I can still be myself.
My level of involvement and enthusiasm in all things remain the same, and in fact, a large part of the charm that comes with being a Deputy Head is that I have even more opportunity to have a positive influence on staff, and therefore, the children in my care. This is incredibly important to me, and at the same time, quite relieving.
2. I listen better than I thought I would.
It is only in this role that I have really fully appreciated how much people need to be heard – parents, staff, managers. To identify that voice is one thing, and to act on it is another, but the first crucial step is simply to be willing to listen to others. We sent out a school survey, and to date have had a 45% response rate, which is to my mind very impressive. While it is enormously gratifying to hear what we are doing well, and acknowledge that we can make progress in other areas, one particular strain of response was unexpected; several parents were grateful they were even being asked what they thought! It is wonderful to know that I am providing an outlet for their thoughts.
3. The curve is far steeper but much more enjoyable than I’d imagined.
I genuinely do enjoy learning, but even so, the rate I have had to learn new routines, faces, skills and policies has given me a new-found admiration for staff in new senior positions. It is so exciting to discover new ways to achieve goals, and (again) make a positive impact trough cascading advice, support and guidance.
4. The children remain the same.
This is, to me, a no-brainer. I have watched other managers avoid children the further they climb the career ladder, and was frankly terrified that it might happen to me. I am hugely relieved that I am still able to maintain a high level of teaching contact with children, and they delight me on a daily basis.
I am working with a fantastic team of teachers, and my only major concern is that they don’t really recognise just how good they are! Hopefully that will change, come January’s INSET…
It is only fair to try and share some of what I have learnt with the small audience my blog has, and only hope that it is helpful to someone out there! In short, I promise to blog more!