A slightly selfish blog this week, in that I have absolutely loved being back in the classroom and teaching the Year 10 History class. Decisions as to how much a headteacher should commit to the classroom are always difficult given the reality of the breadth to the job in modern times. However, I always committed at the start of the Year that I would cover Mr. Tumber’s exam classes whilst he did a stint at William Edwards School. In the end, the placement has come so late that I have only done three Year 11 revision lessons this week. I don’t feel that counts as really developmental teaching, but getting to know my Year 10 class has been an absolute pleasure. (I hope they feel the same!).
The reality of my role is that I spend a lot of time looking at learning, but you can’t beat that feeling of unlocking difficult concepts with students so that they become better learners. The beauty for me is that everyone brings something slightly different to the environment. For example: the student that clearly listens to politics and world affairs and who can understand the parallels between history and modern politics; the student that wants to ask the difficult questions; the student that has great intuitive, gut responses; the student that thinks outside the box to come up with more complex theories and the student that recognises the difficult moral decisions that people had to make at a moment in the past. Equally, there is: the student that pops along later to clarify some learning; the student that missed a lesson for a trip and was proactive in catching up and the student whose eyes say they want help but is reluctant to ask for it publicly. I could go on all day (well up to 26 with that class). The point is that these learners exist in all schools, and it is our responsibility to challenge them to take them to the next level, and that is such a thrilling experience and the central purpose of schools. Whilst I don’t know what or when I will teach next year, I do know that I realised this week how much I have missed that element of teaching in the classroom this year. So, on to this afternoon: a lesson on the Night of the Long Knives, and let’s see if the students can comprehend this as a key step in the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship in Germany…
In our increasingly diverse community, could I wish all our Muslim students, colleagues and families Eid Mubarak. My friend messaged me last night and said can we go out on Sunday for a massive burger and fries! I never see him during Ramadan, it just seems to be a pattern we have fallen in to so that we don’t end up in a coffee shop together where only one of us can drink; and it just reminds me of the incredible dedication to their religion that Muslims go through at this time of year.
Have a lovely weekend, and for me a chance to watch a couple of World Cup games starting with Spain v Portugal tonight.