A wee joy…..dear p….

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I’m a big fan of the guardian column ” a letter to….” And I’ve laughed and cried to it on many occasions. There have been many times when I have wanted to write love letters and poison pen letters to people however, after my last post about creativity and vacuum of leadership, I think this is fairly appropriate.
A letter to the line manager who trusted me with the magic.
Dear P,
We didn’t meet till the day I turned up with the pink flowers in my hair and I told you that your children were my children and that I was determined to be a force for change.
We had a wee catch up before the term started and I remember thinking I was he luckiest PT in the land to have an HT who was smiled, who made the coffee and who spoke about his family.
My start wasn’t an easy one. In the department it was a joy, the whole school was more of a challenge.
As an HT you treated me with respect and trusted my decisions. You questioned where you needed more information or clarification but trusted my judgement. I soon discovered that if I caught you before your first coffee you would laugh and get me out the office quickly ( Achilles heel identified) however, you never rushed me, looked at computer screen or phone. You sat down, listened and thought about everything presented to you.
You believed in me and backed me as a professional and as a mum. You took time to listen to my concerns as a manager, as a teacher and as a parent.
We had our own silent revolution in the department and you stood by us and supported us in your own way by channeling an understated support to me and my staff.
I didn’t always agree with decisions made at SMT level and was encore the enfante terrible who was tolerated publicly and privately challenged. I stood my ground when it came to learning and teaching in my subject and was desperately waiting to be proved wrong. My leadership was never questioned or direction of travel despite it being A tad out of the ordinary. A member of staff once asked a member of my department what it was really like to work for me,and the answer was that I had my own rule book.
I admit to bending rules, ( not breaking them) to get the best possible outcomes for my learners and perhaps I did invent chapters for the staff handbook but never once did I compromise the integrity of the profession or the needs of my children.
We had professional differences and you tolerated my reactions (yes, particularly when I told you I would not stand for an email in a particular tone, or a change of direction with curriculum structure and asked you to leave while I had a frustrated greet) Yet, we moved on together and you allowed me to create what I can only describe as magic.
When there were tears you were supportive and when I was wide, you reigned me in gently without belittling me.
You tolerated when I played some cards. I still can’t believe you thought I would have helped parents write letters in complaint about curriculum structure. I mean moi?….
My biggest gift from you was simply belief. To be left to get on with my job was a gift. To have support to manage change, implement curriculum and weave was quite simply a joy.
I know I was luckier the most.
I’ve written about teachers that you would run through walls for, well, case in point.
My heart broke when I had to leave
I don’t get the chance to work with you as much as I would love to,but you taught me about balance,trust,humility and the power of a closed-door, comfy seat coffee with no holds barred.
You are amongst the role models I hold dear.
And for the record, I would run thorough a wall to have the privilege of working with you and the learners again.

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