Monday: Arrived relatively early and was made to feel very welcome by the senior staff. Grabbed a coffee in the conference room before heading upstairs to the main building to be introduced to the whole staff. Despite the bad cold, I gave everybody a wave and smiled. The next hour or so was spent in various short meetings with the senior team, discussing my priorities, duties and office base. I managed to self-discover the ICT Support office and self-allocate a login for the network and email system. Popping down the corridor, I managed to grab the Reprographics member of staff to complete my ID badge with a passport-like photograph. Awful! Managed to locate an office and was given a key. Felt great! Really quirky too. Attended all the relevant duties at break and lunch AND after-school. Great to see some strong systems in place. Managed to walk about the school and introduce myself to a few colleagues. Felt very isolated, but was as good a first day as you can get, starting one week after October half-term and one day after the school’s Ofsted inspection.
Tuesday: Picked up my ID badge; part of the team now and don’t need to sign in or out at the reception desk. As I have no timetable, I was allocated 3 cover lessons. Not used to this at all, as in my last school we had appointed cover supervisors to pick up the slack. Still, the positive side of things, the lessons gave me the opportunity to meet the students, set out my stall (so that it could spread like wild-fire) and feel part of the school as soon as possible. Any cover lesson is a hard task, for one, the group are not your own class and secondly, the supply-teacher conversation is always had! Students on the whole were generally cooperative and responsive…so I am really optimistic. When I had a free moment, I found myself retreating to my new office for sanctuary. This was solely to take medication for my worsening cold, check my emails and grab a quick sip of my cold coffee! When walking around the school, I’d smile, say hello to whoever made eye contact and slip into the DT department for some comfort conversations about projects, facilities and aspirations.
Wednesday: The journey to work took longer than expected today. My cold is worsening and its a struggle to get out of bed; still I cannot afford to mope around or be late! I visited (off the cuff) a Year 10 assembly and was kindly introduced to the students. Note to self, do this for every year group as soon as possible. Another 2 cover lessons today and a walkie-talkie walkabout. I enjoyed this task the most as it set my frame of mind, crystal clear…to walk the entire school, visiting classrooms, saying hello to students, staff and resolving any noticeable problems. The day also consisted of a couple of meetings with SLT colleagues to discuss duties, procedures and the vision for my role.
Thursday: A couple more cover lessons and an emergency cover today. Another walkabout duty and a break, lunch and bus-stop duty formed the other key elements of my day. Slowly building up a menagerie of medication, pens, drawing pins and work documents in my new office. Also, started to tick off all the names of staff (on the staff list) of those I have managed to introduce myself to…. I must have spoken to at least 50+ staff in 3 days from a total 150. I plan to make this complete by the end of next week. Popped into a few lessons and smiled and said thank you. SLT meeting followed bus-stop duty and was entertaining and educational. Every school does it differently. Very far removed from what I’ve been used to for the past 3 years! Was also asked to attend an INSET day tomorrow morning.
Friday: Attended a PiXL Club event at Kings Cross, London. Was great to get out and be inspired, representing my new school, but didn’t really enjoy it as much as I could, because I was still full of a cold. Managed to bump into a ex-colleague and catch up. Returned to school by 2pm and volunteered to conduct late-detention from 3-4pm. Home to reflect and work out what my first contribution to the whole staff is going to be….