Happy New Year!
On the first school Sunday of the new academic year, thoughts of school start to weigh in. It’s an unusual start to a new school year. For one, it will be the first time since March the staff and students have been in the building. For two, there is uncertainty. Obviously, my school have been incredible and put all the safety measures in place but one can’t help notice the rise in cases and with the news that Rome has the highest new infection rate, you can’t help but feel a little anxious that this might be a very short-lived physical return to school.
And yet, it is the start of a new school year and the perfect time to reflect. Reflection should be a continuous stream as we go through life and it is fair to say that this summer, having turned 40, I have been doing a lot of reflecting – more so personally than professionally.
Setting goals and aims for a year has been something that many of us do since the start of time and the nurture blogs of recent years have been really instrumental in supporting people to think about what it is they want to achieve in the year. Here are my goals:
- Fall back in love with leadership? It’s fair to say that the last year and a half at my old school stripped me of my love for leadership. Watching the school I love regress, working 14-16 hour days every day and doing the work of four people meant that I was going through the motions and lost the passion I once had for my leadership role. I start this year covering the Head of Department role at my school. I’ve had to speak to myself a lot about this. Can I do the job? Yes. Will I do the job well? Yes. Is it what I really want? Not sure. The benefit of taking on a role in a temporary capacity is that I have the opportunity to either fall back in love with leadership or know that I am done with it. I need to work that one out and there is no way of knowing at this stage. Either way though, the outcome will be positive because I will gain the clarity I need.
- Complete the Chartered College programme. When I signed up to this programme it was without the pressure of being Head of Department and so quite rightly, I’m already anxious about managing both HOD and this programme and maintaining the healthy work life balance I have so desperately worked for. I did a lot of reading in July and barely anything in August and whilst I was initially set on what I wanted to do, I’ve recently been having some wobbles. Hopefully when I get my coach then I will be able to clarify my approach and I will feel a bit better about this. I am really excited about the course and love the approach and hope that I can sort my head out over the next couple of weeks to have the clarity I’ve lost recently.
- Lose weight. I am fat. In fact, on most fitness tests or whatever, I would be described as obese. This is the thing that makes me most miserable. I hate my fat legs and my fat ankles and I’ve been wearing clothes that are too big for me to cover up the fat. When you throw yourself into work then it’s easier to deflect working on your weight. But I don’t feel good about myself and my shape and so I need to take control. Having turned 40 and spent weeks binge-watching Queer Eye, self-care is so important and it is time to take back control and feel good about myself again. I’ve quit alcohol (in the main) and feel so much better for it. I am starting the Keto diet on Monday in an informal capacity (imagine in a country that lives on pasta, pizza and risotto) and will start to work out again when the temperature drops a little. I need to lose weight because I want to feel better about myself and this time I am really focused on doing this…for myself. In the mean time, I have thrown the baggy trousers out and restocked, revisited, revised my wardrobe. Having been surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes on the beaches this summer, I’ve come to realise that just because you are fat, doesn’t mean you have to hide behind it so in the interim I am going to embrace it Lizzo stylie.
On Saturday I asked people what their professional and personal goals were and I have loved reading them. Here is what some people said:
- To run and thrive with the work I’m doing which is filling me with excitement and joy
- To do a good job with my first role of responsibility
- To become confident in my own abilities as ASL and stop doubting myself
- Retain a comfortable work life balance
- To support all my students and LSAs to have a happy, safe and successful return to school and finish NASENCO
- To find my motivation
- To semi-retire
- To feel confident with behaviour management
- To launch my new venture supporting art GCSE students
- To keep improving my A Level teaching and SOW
- To continue developing my middle leader knowledge
- To make sure everything is in a strong position for when I go on leave in January
- To pass my 2nd TF year and feel more comfortable in my subject
- To start to look at opportunities for more responsibility
- To make it to retirement
- To manage the roles of assistant headteacher / teacher of English with successful completion of the first year of my diploma in person centred counselling.
- To achieve NPQH
- To get settled and to get my confidence back. To do a MH first aid course.
- To find a school where I feel valued, nurtured and supported
- To find a new school – a new DHT position or even HT
- To get to grips with my new role
- To complete the first year of my Masters, be comfortable in my new role and understand the admin behind SEND in a mainstream secondary school
- To make it through the year sane!
- To get a permanent contract and full time job and do an English subject knowledge course.
- To settle into my new school
- To do a good job whilst not letting work become my life.
- To keep my head down and let my teaching do the talking.
- To complete my NPQSL
- To gain more security.
- To develop Hectic Teacher further with workshops / CPD and resources
- A smooth return from maternity
- To achieve good outcomes for the schools I work with.
- To explore my home more
- To find something to engage me away from school and home
- To prioritise myself – less screen time, more reading and exercise and healthy eating
- Retain a comfortable work life balance
- To get back into sailing
- To improve my swimming technique and to maintain healthy eating habits
- To maintain a healthy work life balance
- To lose weight
- To do more sight seeing
- To balance my time as my daughters start school
- To get my confidence back and stop feeling like I have no worth.
- To plan for my retirement
- To get into wild swimming
- To book a wedding.
- To resist taking on too many tutees.
- To plan our wedding.
- To buy a house.
- To regain some emotional balance after a close bereavement
- To not let my face show what I’m thinking straightaway
- To develop a better work/life balance and healthier lifestyle
- A work life balance
- Support Women Ed to grow strategically and sustainably
So what will you set out to achieve this year? And how will you make it happen?