Happy holidays everyone!
This year has been an eventful year regarding my professional life. There have been some incredible high moments and one very low point. Possibly the best way to complete this post is to review last year’s hopes and see how I did.
1. Continue to be Assistant Head Teacher and help to guide my school towards another successful year. Ofsted is looming!
Regular readers of my blog will know that Ofsted arrived on April 1st. Our Head teacher was not in the building and it was not possible for her to return during the entire visit. Myself and our other AHT guided the school towards its 3rd ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted. This was in no small part due to the organisational skills of our HT, however, with high stakes to play for, Joanne and I were relieved to be given the grade. In our hearts we knew that our entire staff from the cleaners, the TAs, the cook, teachers and Governors are all worthy of the grade, but things can go wrong when you’re under scrutiny. Read the full post here.
2. Attend a Teachmeet. Achieved! I went to Northern Rocks with my good friend @clyn40. We also attended some mini teachmeets, more like social gatherings in pubs. I’ve been very pleased to meet some famous edubloggers at these social gatherings. I won’t name anyone as I will offend people by missing someone out. I am pleased to have made some firm friends from Twitter this year and I count the lovely @gwenelope and the equally lovely @Mishwood1 among those people.
3. Attend Bett 2014. Achieved. I went in January and selected an immersive sensory room for my school. This was a lovely thing to be involved in and the children will reap the benefit when our new school opens.
4. Be less stressed. Achieved! I think I have achieved this, just don’t ask anyone for confirmation!
5. Try and develop some work/life balance. Mmmm! I cannot say I have achieved this one. I still tend to spend most of my time working. This is the reason why I am struggling to join in with the wonderful initiative from @MartinReah #teacher5aday. I will try to give this some real attention though as there are some fabulous posts on the subject.
6. Weather the storm politically because I’m not political. I have made myself smile with this one. I have definitely failed here. This year has seen me write far more political type posts than I have ever done before. This year has seen me address them to important members of the DfE such as Michael Gove, Nicky Morgan and Tristram Hunt.
I am also proud to have attended the DfE meeting at Easter with Liz Truss MP and the Ofsted meeting in August with @MikeCladingbowl. I am also to attend another meeting in January with an MP but I don’t have permission to divulge information yet so I won’t.
7. Write some more articles for publication. Achieved! I have written another article for publication and I blog for other groups too.
8. Nominate my school for some more awards. Achieved! I am incredibly proud of my school and all the staff involved in it. Everyone works tirelessly for the children in our care. I know most people do, but our staff are special, they go the extra mile. I am always singing their praises. This year I nominated our NQT for ‘Best NQT of the Year’ and my school for ‘Best Primary’ in the regional awards. I was thrilled when our school won both! Well deserved I think. I also nominated one of my TAs for an award because she is simply marvellous! I would struggle to keep up with my job without the help of this young lady. I’m pleased to say she was runner up. I have blogged about the Awards evening here.
9. Continue to tell everyone on Twitter how wonderful they are. To thank people for sharing their resources and ideas and helping me to grow as a teacher and a leader. Achieved! I do this regularly. Thank you everyone. Every one of you is precious to me.
All of that brings me to this year’s highs and lows. As stated at the beginning of the post there was an incredibly low point. February brought the death of a much loved pupil. This produced an outpouring grief from our school community like no other. Children do die, we know that and it is always very sad, but this one shook the school as he had been with us for 14 years. That led to an act of great kindness from @ThatIanGilbert who sent me one of his books to help my school through it. Later in the year I was pleased to meet Ian at a conference and was then able to thank him in person. Ian is a lovely man and I was sorry to see him leave Twitter. I hope he’s back.
Early this year I noticed there was a need for someone to collate all the posts relating to SEND. I established a new Twitter account @SENBlogger with the help of my good Twitter friend @imagineinquiry. He spent much time on the phone talking me through reblogging and I’m very grateful to him. Thanks Tim!
This year also saw me thrilled to hit 4k followers on Twitter at Easter. At the end of August I was proud to hit 5k and last week saw the total reach 6k. Thank you to everyone who follows me and also to those who read my posts. You inspire me and help me to be a better practitioner.
Another high point was being involved in @cazzwebbo’s diary. She passionately asked for help to raise money for @chocotzar’s pupils who needed a holiday. Wow! The girl did well. Carol rallied us round and a diary was produced. Well done Carol! There is still time to buy a calendar. See here for details.
This last 3 weeks has seen me take my first tentative steps on Facebook. Goodness me I’m struggling! I have got myself in to a bit of a pickle with it already. I have 3 accounts and I can only use one successfully, the school one. My aim is to have a professional page where I can publish my posts and other items of interest and to have one to interact with people on a personal level. If only I had known you can only have one FB account in your own name. Grateful thanks to @MooreLynne1 and @DJTom3 who have been very good in allowing me to learn on their FB accounts. Patience please everyone, I am sure I will work it out.
This year I have also begun delivering sessions at conferences. I have delivered 2 at UoC to student teachers with the help of my talented TA. We are delivering more of these in 2015 and I’m proud to help the student teachers.
Apart from Ofsted, possibly my greatest achievement for this year has been applying for and being awarded SLE status. I had this confirmed last week and I can’t say how pleased I am to be a real part of The Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance. As an SLE I have already begun to design and deliver a 3 part course for TAs. I am doing this in partnership with another AHT from Blackpool. Its challenging and a huge learning curve for me.
All of that brings me to 2015. I’m going to cheat here. I have had a successful year in 2014. If I can be that successful in 2015 I will be very happy.
1. In a nutshell, I would like to continue to be a good AHT for my school. We don’t have a deputy so Joanne and I are second in command.
2. I would like to make a success of my SLE status.
3. I would like to continue to meet people from Twitter, especially those who have helped me with my blogs and my Tweeting. I have met many this year and there are many I wish to meet.
4. Conferences and courses are next. I would like to continue with these. This is a part of my role which I am new to but I am enjoying immensely.
5. Lastly, my school is on the move to a new building this year. Having been a part of the planning process I want to see the children happily established in their new school.
6. Facebook!I will not be defeated.
So that’s pretty much it for 2015. Thank you for reading. Happy New Year everyone!