I have always considered myself to have one of the most privileged jobs in the country, as we get to guide the students and help build the next generation allowing them to mature in to young adults. As you would imagine, the intricacies of a school day/week/year mean there will be many critical moments, most pleasurable, but obviously a few challenging. Alongside the Prize Giving ceremony last night, there have been 3 moments were I have really felt that privilege this week.
Tuesday afternoon I was sat in the Headteachers’ meeting at Drapers Academy in their library, and I realised that a student from last year, who had gone there for Sixth Form, was looking through the window trying to work out whether it was me in the room. After a quick wave (not sure whether that is etiquette), he was on his way. Then on Wednesday morning, I was doing a learning walk around Havering Sixth Form College, and I bumped in to another ex-student who was busy working on his creative graphic design course independently, and we were able to have a quick chat about career plans and his ambitions. It was lovely to then see the students again last night for Prize Giving, and celebrate their successes.
Yesterday, I also met a pilot group of Year 8 students to talk to them about a targeted enrichment group that we are considering in the school. We deliberately hadn’t told the students anything, and were waiting to explain in person. The students were a little uneasy, thinking perhaps that they had been “summoned” for something bad; they listened to the idea, and there was a real sense of the students considering the merit of the idea whilst being flattered that they were our ‘guinea pig’ group.
All of those encounters, remind me of the privilege we have in educating the next generation, and give me a sense of pride about what our students can achieve. Prize Giving, by the nature of the beast, is about rewarding some of our most successful students – both in terms of academic, but also the progress they have made – but it is also that opportunity to celebrate the camaraderie of the year groups in supporting their peers in their successes. Heart-warming stuff despite the issues with the microphones!
I am always keen to try new ideas, so tomorrow a group of staff are going to a teacher training recruitment event (thanks to the staff involved for giving up a day of their weekend to support the school). In a competitive recruitment environment, we lose nothing by trying another strategy but whether it pays dividends remains to be seen. Whatever your weekend brings, I hope you have a lovely time.