guest post #42 – Julie Williamson – @julie_allis

What am I doing? Where am I going? A question I spend many days asking myself.  I’ve been teaching since 1998 and in my current school since 2005. I look around me and see colleagues that started with me as teachers now as middle managers whilst I’ve remained ‘stuck’ as a classroom teacher. I’ve only ever once sought promotion once in my current school and when I was offered the job on a lesser scale to what was advertised, I turned it down (big on principles and all that).  Do I regret it? No, other than I often wonder what might have been. However, as I approach 10 years in my school (I’ve worked in 4 other schools and never stayed longer than 3!) I knew something had to change. I’m lucky that I work in a school where people are given opportunities (if they want to take them) and support to get to where they want to be. Last year I knew I had to change my path. I was becoming complacent in a world where I can’t be.  I was fed up of teaching the same old thing. I needed challenge and most importantly, to re-ignite the passion I once had for teaching. I was in a ‘rut’. Having been a Second in Department and Literacy Co-ordinator in previous schools, I felt I had lost the management and leadership skills I once had. All my A-level teaching was a distant memory. Outside of school I was able to do something about this in becoming a school governor and I began realising I had more to offer and could lead and manage. But what of my work in my own school? A conversation with my then deputy head opened a new door. He had decided that our students needed additional ‘Literacy’ support and if it worked on the timetable that would give me something I could build from scratch. Fantastic; this was just what I needed. Something that was mine to plan and teach the way I wanted. So, four weeks in, how is it? There’s a long way to go but I’m getting there. Today was a good day. Today I realised I could make a difference to the lives of these students. Why? The 50 point challenge, adapted from a colleague, to improve behaviour in the classroom. The essence is simple but it’s working for now. I know I have to adapt and change the way I teach and think if I’m to be successful, if I’m going to have an impact. However, my passion and drive is back.

 praise

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