….Pleased to meet you.
- WHAT’S MY JOB TITLE AND WHERE DO I WORK?
I usually describe myself these days as a “former head and educational consultant” – even though I know consultants don’t always get a good press, and it might seem odd to describe yourself as something you aren’t any more! But it’s an accurate description of what I am and what I do. I’ve also worked for five years as an Associate with the National College for Teaching and Leadership, latterly within their International Business Unit.
- WHAT AM I CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I do staff training in schools (often on leadership), and for organisations like HMC and GSA – independent school headteacher associations. I’m going to be working with trainee teachers on the HMC Teacher Training Scheme from this summer, and I’ve already done some preparation for that.
With a serving head, I designed and facilitate an online course on Leading an Independent School, which is hugely enjoyable.
I do a fair bit of writing too, for example for the TES and various online publications, and I do a blog review column for Schools Week.
And I’m in the process of writing my doctoral thesis, following research into the transition between deputy headship and headship.
- WHERE HAVE I COME FROM?
I’m originally from South Yorkshire, and was the first member of my family to get a degree – both my parents left school at 14. I studied English at Manchester, did a PGCE and started teaching in 1980.
Over the next 30 years I taught in six different schools, state and independent, all boys’, all girls’ and co-ed schools, selective and comprehensive, 4-18, 7-18 and 11-18 schools. I also taught adults up to A level at nightschool. I was Head of English, Head of Sixth Form, Deputy Head and then Head. I loved all my schools and each of these jobs, but particularly relished headship, which I think is the best job in the school.
- WHAT GETS ME UP IN THE MORNING?
These days, it’s supporting aspiring leaders at all levels, which I find very rewarding. Making contacts through Twitter and blogging, and at various spin-off events, such as #TeachMeets and #SLTcamp, have helped hugely with this. I love the time I spend on Twitter and have really enjoyed meeting face to face many of those I’ve initially ‘met’ virtually.
- WHAT KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT?
These days I sleep very well, I have to say.
- WHO INSPIRES ME?
I’ve been inspired by so many people over the years – too many to list, really. But I have to say my husband, who’s my best friend, has encouraged, believed in and supported me since we met 40 years ago. He’s my greatest inspiration.
He took this photo – I’m writing this in Japan!
This post was originally published on @staffrm in 2015