Showing posts with label Tonight Matthew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tonight Matthew. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Tonight Matthew, I'm Going To Be... A Director

This COVID has certainly put a spanner in a few works; one such spanner being year 6 open evenings at secondary schools. 

A parent of a year 6 child myself, this is a huge concern for me - how do we pick the right school for her, especially given that this is the first time we are sending a child off to big school? With my responsibilities across both KS2 and KS3 I wanted to help to make sure that what our school offers to prospective children and parents would help them to understand better what our school is like.

So, on top of the content that was already being produced for online viewing (virtual tour, promo video, message from the principal etc), I decided to give both year 6 and new year 7s a voice - after all, they're the ones its all about. It's all very well having members of staff present information, but children want to hear from their peers too - they're the ones who will tell them what it's really like.

And that's why this morning I was directing, alongside our tech-savvy media guy, an extra bit of video content where year 6 children got the chance to ask year 7 children some of their own questions. With bubbles we couldn't get them in the room together so we had to film the year 6s asking their questions first and then the year 7s answering the questions (with me asking the questions this time). Hopefully once it's all edited together we will have a seamless FAQ video for children and their parents to watch in order to get a more rounded picture of what's on offer.

The year 7 children presented confidently, embodying our values and showing that in just a few short weeks they have really settled in well and got to know the ropes. They were able to articulate positively much about their experience so far -  a testament to the hard work of the team of staff leading and teaching in year 7. And all this in spite of all the difficulties surrounding transition and the return to school that COVID has presented us with.

Teachers and leaders play many roles under normal circumstances - the positive view of COVID is that it is most certainly providing us with further strings to our bows!

Monday, 28 September 2020

Tonight Matthew, I'm Going To Be... A Gallerist

It's a fairly well accepted concept that a teacher is so many more things than a teacher - that a teacher puts on many different hats even during the course of one day. I think the same is true for school leaders too.

For a part of today I found myself acting as a gallerist, or a curator.

We have, as many primary schools probably do, many, many display boards around school. Too many, perhaps. And what happens to display boards when teaching staff are getting on with teaching and doing the important stuff? The content sometimes gets a bit old. That or teachers have to spend time out of class, or out of hours, putting up displays - something that, in my opinion, really should be minimised if we care about our children and staff at all.

So there I was double-sided taping the large art prints I'd order to black paper, gluing the accompanying information I'd collated and trimming it as perfectly as I possibly could. I was in 'the studio' overlooking 'the heartspace' off which many of our classrooms are situated. I could see and hear school going on all around me - I noticed this because I suppose I was desperate to legitimise the time spent gluing and cutting and stapling. I could almost feel the calm, purposefulness of what was going on through each of those doorways and in all honesty I wondered if what I was doing was worthwhile.

Afterall, I'm a deputy head - shouldn't I be doing something else? Did these Eric Ravilious, Georgia O'Keefe and Jacob Lawrence prints really need backing and putting up by me? Yes, I told myself, they did - because this is one of the many problems of being a perfectionist: you learn very quickly that there are some things you just have to do yourself. And yes, because for all intents and purposes, I am the art lead in the school and it is my job to educate staff and children in matters relating to the arts. 

And actually, yes, because I have to balance out some of the other less desirable things I have to do with things that are actually enjoyable - this for my own mental wellbeing. Besides, what was I actually thinking about all that time? Well, many confidential things that can't be repeated on my blog: I was providing myself with time and space to think through the issues of the day - the things that were on my mind over the weekend, the difficult conversations that need to be had, the logistical problems that need working through. 

On the outside I was cutting and sticking, on the inside I was doing what I'm really paid to do: lead.

If I were to go from one high pressure situation to another, never allowing myself down time doing jobs that seem a little more menial, would I really be properly ready for the next meeting, the next time someone brings a problem to me or the next time I have to deal with a behaviour issue? I think not.

So, some thinking got done - hopefully preparing me for the future - and some nice (I think) displays were created in the process.

Yeah, I'm OK with being a gallerist.