#nurture1415

OK, here’s mine. I’ll go at it like all my blogposts – fast and spontaneous, so you’re bound to be spotting typos as we go.

2014 – what a year!

1. The beginning of the year saw my temporary contract in a job I loved coming to an end, and a resurgence of resilience and determination which saw my research on parenting and teaching gain new momentum. I also found it in myself to put myself out there in the SLT interview circuit, and found myself a new – substantive! – SLT post in a school much closer to home.

2. What they say about parenthood getting better and better is true – my daughters have flourished into articulate, fesity, stubborn young ladies, full of gusto and joy. I almost shed tears of relief what – as newly full-time SLT member, I learned from their teachers that they are flourishing. I also count my blessings every day that they are healthy and happy, knowing that these are things we can’t take for granted.

3. EdD – having completed my research-gathering (and gone a bit over-the-top – hey, the focus groups are the fun bit!), I sat to write – and write. And write. And write. And it’s HARD! With a new and challenging full-time job too, I eventually made the reluctant decision to defer. IT’S NOT OVER. I WILL be Doctor Kell.

4. I have blogged about this plenty, but this will always be the year my former HT, the man who believed in everyone and helped so many of us grown and find voice in education died very suddenly. I can’t think that there’ll be a day in my career when I’m not aware of the mark he left.

4. I have had the privilege of getting to know a new community of students and teachers, and amongst them, some truly inspirational individuals. My daily visitors during my break- and lunch-duty make my week with their dramas, stories and anecdotes. Seeing new middle leaders learn and stumble and articulate and thrive has been one of the absolute highlights of my career. I am learning, learning, learning – sometimes it’s hard, but learning is always good!

So, the year ahead? What do I hope for?

1. Wellbeing at home and work, like @eddikayshun, has to be top of the agenda. Myself and others’. It’s not always easy, and it can be misinterpreted, but if we’re not well and happy, we can’t work – or indeed BE – in an effective way. If I stop believing this, slap me. In the meantime, I owe many of those close to me an apology as I realise how absent I’ve been – if not physically, then mentally – of late.

2. BACK ON THE RESEARCH HORSE. This means the world to me, and it’s unleashed a whole new sense of purpose and being and community, not least in the Twittersphere, which means so much more than 140 characters a time. I’ve come to understand so much more about the wider educational community I’m so proud to belong to, and to want to keep playing an active, decisive, purposeful and positive role in improving the life chances of our marvellous young people.

3. Keep a sense of humour. Mine doesn’t suit everyone, but it’s been my saving grace at so many stages. I apologise to those to whom I may seem flippant or silly, I’m not. But it’s VERY important to keep smiling. It makes everyone more cheerful. And when we’re happy…. Yes. We do our jobs better. And our lives.

4. Keep embracing the changes and the challenges. Keep refining, reevaluating, questioning my teacher idenity, my private and public voice, my values. Keep hold of my integrity, alternative approaches, different perspectives.

5. When I became a teacher, my parents were a little bemused, a little concerned. You have to be in it to fight it, I said. And for as long as this is true, I plan to stay in the game. And, after all, it is the best game there is.

Happy New Year to my fellow educators, stubborn optimists, challengers and supporters. BRING IT ON.

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