LBO May 2017 David is a friend of mine who has been appointed to his first headship. Hearing his enthusiasm and genuine excitement for his new job has been inspiring. As he looks forward to beginning at his new school in September, his strong sense of moral purpose and determination to make an impact are clear. For those of us who have been in the job for some time, this is important to reflect upon.
It has been a hard week. Unseasonably cold weather made break times occasions when students are squeezed indoors and corridors become crowded thoroughfares. Several late evening finishes have made us feel a bit more tired and a couple of challenging moments have disappointed and frustrated in equal measure taking up valuable time to resolve.
And so this afternoon provided the perfect antidote. I made time to visit lessons and drop into most classrooms and was rewarded with a reminder of the wide range of activity taking place, the intensity of student engagement and commitment of staff. The school was abuzz with energy, creativity and learning.
A drama group performing with imagination, working together in small groups, each full of ideas; musicians playing with rhythm and gusto; geographers discussing the rise of the mega-city and what it might be like to live among Tokyo’s 30 million plus population; historians standing in the shoes of the defeated Germans in 1918 and recording how the future appeared to them; students of French searching for alternative phrases to liven up their text; design students programming a 3D-printer and scientists building a circuit that will switch off at a given temperature.
This was all inspiring and great fun. And I get to see all of this and to linger and question and move on or return. When young people are at their best, schools are special places.
We can all learn from each other and there is much to learn from a newcomer to headship. He can see clearly what he wants for the children and the school, unhindered yet by worries about budget, recruitment, safe-guarding and accountability, or by the day-to-day flim-flam that will become all-consuming for the unwary.
The golden rule is to focus on the students and making learning exciting. He knows this. David, good luck.