Warning; not a pedagogical piece, more a personal reflection.
Today was my first day back to school after my two week paternity leave after the birth of our second son Killian. It was a little daunting on the way in knowing I was feeling a bit groggy and fragile from the lack of sleep that’s the joy of being a new parent.
As soon as I arrived at school people were smiles, hugs and handshakes welcoming me back. Within moments I felt like I was home and that for me is the sign of a great school. Schools are for learning, but for me it’s a learning community. The learning doesn’t happen in some isolated, distant kind of way. The whole fabric of community is woven into everything we do. It’s how we feel at school and how we act because of that feeling. The feeling of belonging we have as staff and that our students have matters; it makes the hard times bearable and the good times something to share and celebrate together. As the boss (Bruce Springsteen rather than my headteacher) would say “We take care of our own.”
It was great to be back and a pleasure to see my colleagues and students; to be back in our community. That’s how it should be. Yes, teaching is hard work, but it’s enjoyable and worthwhile to be part of a learning community.
I hope that your school stirs that special feeling of belonging in you and wish you a well earned rest after this first half term.
I would also like to thank my colleagues and students for all of their kindness today; it’s appreciated.
Barry – @SeahamRE