it’s not just a school…

Posted: October 20, 2011 in About Me

It’s not been long really. A bit of mixed emotion into why I
am doing this temporary role and a little bit of excitement about getting my
teeth into it and maybe in a very small way having an input into change; whether
that be short term or slightly longer.

I have currently worked where I am now for the past five
years. I remember the first day that I arrived through the door. Entering into
the building by the fully panelled glass door way into a corridor come
reception area. Directly in front of me was a small ‘hatch’ where a slightly
aging woman sat with blown dried silver hair. Back combed to give it volume and
without a smile upon her face. The hatch was rather low. This, I thought, may
be due to the fact that the average height of the people may need to look
through and speak to the person on the other side, being no taller than my hip.
A group of children were huddled closely
to the hatch. Waiting. And waiting. Still they were not acknowledged. I stood
there on this cold morning in January in my trousers, shirt and tie. My coat
fastened all the way up to try keep some of the warm in. Funnily enough the
children gave up trying to be noticed and were actually the first people in the
school to welcome me. It wasn’t the usual ‘hello’ with the scouse twang thrown
in, but the question ‘sir, are you red or blue?’ I knew this was linked
directly to the Liverpool fascination with football and although my first
thought was to answer with ‘well I am guessing my face is rather red at the
moment from the gale blowing outside and my fingers blue from the low
temperature’ I opted to leave it and go with ‘football. It’s not really my
thing, I’m more of a rugby guy.’ It worked. The questions ended there and I am
not sure whether it was in disgust or the fact the bell had sounded they walked

Eventually I was met with what could only be described as a
slightly frostier hello than that I had met on my one and a half hour morning
journey over from Leeds. Was this a sign of things to come? Or was it just the
fact that it was the first Monday back after the Christmas holidays and
everyone was laidened down with copious amounts of Christmas pudding, cakes,
chocolate and alcohol? This was soon answered in the first couple of weeks, it
was a normal welcome. Something everyone had come to expect!

Time passed quickly and although that first day seems to sit
at the forefront of my mind a lot has happened in these five years. People have
come and gone, big changes have taken place (yes for those that I work with I
thought it best to be added seen as it’s something you all think I say on a
regular basis) and children have left us full of knowledge from their fantastic

I could say that my role here has changed on a yearly basis
but I would opt more for a six monthly basis really. Constantly evolving to
take on more responsibility and move not only with the times but the needs of
both the pupils and the school to survive. It has evolved that much that I now
sit here in my office (which to be honest I have always had, although not
always this one. My first had a carpet with a window onto the corridor so that
it didn’t feel like a prison cell, where as this one is minus the carpet and
window and in its place houses above my head the water tank for the whole
building; which on occasions has been known to over flow causing my own little
in door water feature!) under my latest role of ‘acting assistant head’ which
brings me back to my first point of the mixed emotions I feel. The reason I am
in this position now is due to the fact that a dear work colleague and friend
is off work due to illness meaning that the permanent assistant head has had to
step up to be acting head, leaving an opening for an acting assistant head.
This role being shared equally between myself and Kathy my work colleague.  This being temporary for at least 3 months. I
also know that the three of us leading the school on a temporary basis will do
a good job and follow the ethos that is already in place to give the pupils in
our care the best support, care and guidance that we can as a full staff team. I
have always known that the place I work is somewhere special, full of people
that go the extra mile to support, nuture and care for not only the children in
our care but their parents/carers and members of the community. This throughout
my whole time there has been evident through the jobs we do and the roles we
all play in the children’s lives, it’s just sometimes it’s not shared. It’s not
said. Even though everyone there knows we are doing what is right and enriching
the children with knowledge and care we don’t share it. We don’t take that time
to say to one another ‘you know what, you’re doing a fabulous job’ and maybe it’s
time that we do. I know that I am lucky to work with the people that I do, as
not only do they care for the children but they also care for one another and
offer support, care and guidance to each other. It’s not just a school, it’s an
extended family.


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