I haven’t blogged for a while. This is mainly because I’ve been in the final throes of my Doctorate in Education. I PASSED the viva (you’d have to be living in a hole not to have gathered that bit). This tends to mean a teensy bit more work… an excruciating task, if I’m honest, and one I hope to finish TOMORROW (you heard it here first).
But, if you know me, online quiet is rarely a great thing, and tends to mean I’m not in the Best Place.
You see, I’m not sure what I’m doing in September. I’ve had a genuinely wonderful and happy year in my current role. I’ve learned LOADS and have gained invaluable core subject experience. Also, people are endlessly complicated – I will never again imagine I have them sussed, nor assume anything.
In recent months, I have been wary of applying for anything that might be ‘right’ (and vaguely hopeful that a role for me at the same place might be conjured up out of my temporary contract) so applications can be counted on one finger… and ultimately, I was philosophical and Not Sad that one didn’t work out. I sat back and assumed that, post-30 May-resignations, there would be a flurry of SLT posts in teaching and learning or CPD in a variety of enlightened and inspirational institutions.
Number of jobs of this type within 20 miles of my house advertised in the last 7 working days? 0.
This, against the backdrop of the literally unbelievable achievement that is (so nearly) becoming Dr Kell and a genuinely successful year in which there is so much I am proud to have achieved AND the chance to be a half-decent mother, wife and friend in my part-time role. And a book! (Yes, I joined the club – no, it’s not half as glamorous as it sounds!)
Also, my passionate and ongoing decision that I want to stay part of the fabric and rough-and-tumble and joy and challenge and thousands of daily interactions that are life in a school. And that I really, really want to get back into SLT, because I loved it and I was good at it (uncharacteristic self-praise, but I was – I like people and understand people and can get the best out of people. And I Know My Stuff. And I’m honest. And I know when to say I don’t know).
And the letting go of pipe-dreams. Part-time? Forget it. We’ll make it work somehow. Hopefully, having had a year of me every Wednesday before and after school, the girls will be happy. MAYBE I’ll be able to go to the odd assembly.
And then, a confession to the rising panic. And the rising worry that the doctorate and the book might actually Put People Off and that my CV might be flawed and that they might just not like my taste in shoes at all and that actually, I might just Not Be Good Enough. And the reassuring of my husband that it will be Fine and I will still bring in at least 40% of the household income and that there is really no reason to worry. And the wobbly, sick feeling that, despite knowing it doesn’t help responds inversely to attempts at suppression. And my colleague in SLT was kind enough to take a moment to let me know that she’d noticed today I Wasn’t OK; that I was in a battle with myself and close to irrational tears. Compared to my usual compulsive (probably annoying) smile and determination.
From one end of the day to the other, there are already options – some less exciting than others, but the dole queue is looking a little less likely. And I know that as long as I’m teaching young people, I’ll build relationships and continue to have those hours which pass in moments because they’re exactly what I want to be doing. And I Will Survive saying goodbye to the young people I’ve got to know so very, very well, though the thought, after 20 years in the profession, brings tears to my eyes. And they will survive too. And a little part of me hopes and thinks some of them will remember me, if only for having to repeatedly explain ‘sweated like a stallion’ from The Crucible to what became a Y8 PSHE module…
And a part of me really, passionately wants to become part of the fabric of a school again – part of the ethos and identity and challenges. To know all the children’s names and know all of the teachers’ talents and foibles. To grow with a school, overcome the blows and celebrate the triumphs.
And I really hope that I’ll be in a position to inspire and guide others to feel the same as a leader. If not now, then very soon.