Whilst doing a hokey-cokey one foot in and one foot out of school, I then saw an advert for a Local Authority school improvement post and got rather excited. But these were the people who RAN the meetings I attended- could I actually do their job? Who on earth did I think I was?
Luckily it was in a different authority but I applied – and amazed myself at getting the post (details about the how I managed THAT one in a following post).
I absolutely loved the role, which was a varied one supporting individual teachers and schools raise the achievement of pupils in my field. This was definitely no bed of roses.
What was great about the role?
Supporting lots of teachers in diverse classrooms, settings and year groups. The vast majority were an absolute delight and were really eager to share ideas. Simple pleasures like doing a bee dance in Reception class with some very excited 4 year olds as part of an extended focus on minibeasts (bees dance in a figure 8, you know?!) and another time I’d be supporting a Philosophy 4 Children (P4C) session with year 4 using challenging visuals as a stimulus. I also really loved curriculum development- and having the time to do it properly.
In terms of logistics, being able to have an actual break and go to the toilet when you wanted to were simple things that I would not swap now!
What was more difficult?
Difficult conversations with school leaders. Once I left a school in the lunch break to go down the nearest high street, find a café, and cry down the phone to my other half.
In terms of logistics, losing school holidays was a shock to the system, but the balance was still favourable as it was a far more 9-5ish existence.
What was the most useful piece of advice I was given in this role?
By a colleague (thanks S,) on the very first morning in the job: “never assume that what you do is what anybody else does. Most of the time it isn’t”. This has always stayed with me and has proved time and again to be valuable advice.