So where to begin?
The question anyone asks when they start to write. Do I begin at the highpoint? The most interesting fact? Do I begin with some sort of famous quote to show how widely read I am? Or do I just put my hand up and shout to the world some kind of unknown and unspoken truth?
Or, perhaps, do I just tell you what I think you want to hear? Do i attempt to engage my audience with something witty? No. This isn't that kind of story. Instead I will begin with a fact-
I am leaving.
The facts aren't why you're here though. And the truth will never be believed anyway since undoubtedly there are other opinions this writer has not considered. But in my story I get to tell it my way. And this is my story.
So to a question. Why? (I realize now that I am stalling).
Among the answers I have given have been half-truths and myths. I have outgrown the place. I needed a new challenge. I was squeezed out in the restructure. Do I believe them? I don't know. Should you? Your perspective on this is much different to mine.
I am leaving because a door opened elsewhere. I think that is the bottom line. To say that doors were closed at RSC is misleading so I won't say that. Alternatives were offered and I turned them down. This year has been a tremendous experience. As a colleague and mentor reminds me- where was I a year ago? I was tapped to be MUs assistant, a role that appeared clerical and uninteresting, and that no one applied for. They convinced me though that it would have some merit though, and with DT absent all year, a new learning opportunity seemed worthwhile. Of course they knew there were possibilities and tempted me as such but to be honest nothing concrete popped into my head. I didn't feel I was "on my way." I was cautious of being abused (an unfounded fear- I have never done something I did not want to do) as one of those who is ridden until they are taken to the glue factory. And in term one I very much felt lost at sea and overwhelmed by the challenges I had been set. I was over it, and with someone constantly mentioning the "five year" mark, I was questioning whether I wanted this at all.
And then something happened. I was left to run the office for a few days and loved it. I was on top of things, consulting, punishing and finding solutions to problems that cropped up. My year 12s, especially the girls (they know who they are) started to get it, and things were just happening. My classes were alive again after several failures. The buzz started there, following some honest self reflection about my teaching, and it followed me to the office. I was back and was ready to make things happen.
A few weeks later I was a leading teacher for the rest of the year. The move was exciting and I can't say I was daunted at all. I had worked alongside the team and knew what to do. I have always been one who likes he responsibility, the chance to do things my way with some authority, and whilst I started slow it's what I wanted to do.
This appears a history lesson but since history is written by the winners, and this is my story, I'm telling it my way.
But to answer your question I am leaving because I have been afforded wonderful opportunities in the last four years and have taken them when they presented themselves. During the process of preparing for the RSC interviews I made a decision that I wanted the role that had the most to do with leading teaching. I had applied for diverse leading teacher roles elsewhere and found I liked applying for literacy or eLearning or English roles the most. For the immediate future this is what I want to do. Like 2010 it will present a new challenge to what I have had before- times by a hundred when you factor in the new surrounds. It is the challenge, the learning, that drives me. To be adequately compensated is nice, but it is not why I am leaving.
In the end, this opportunity wasn't available here. At least not now. At most of the places I applied I was told I lacked experience. (I was also told my application was flawless and my interview fantastic.) That's understandable, and I don't bare the decision makers any ill will for such a decision, it makes sense if that is where things are at.
One place told me they would give me the experience.
From that point of view, in the end the decision was easy.
More to come...
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