Back to the chalkface

When last our hero blogged he was attending a teaching conference in darkest East London, in a decidedly non-teaching capacity. Now, read on…

Change comes so rapidly at times that it hardly seems you’ve got used to one situation when things turn completely around and you are once again plunging into “interesting times”. For once though it is an uncertainty of my choosing. Even more unusually, it isn’t a Very Bad Thing but a Very Exciting Thing…

After taking voluntary redundancy from Murder College I found myself without work and a track record of ultimately unsuccessful interviews. Thankfully, on the same day that I returned to the Hell Mouth that is the Hounslow Job Centre to sign on, I received a phone call from my former manager at Murder College. She too had escaped to Better Things, and wanted to know if I was still looking for work, because she was still looking for a Head of Student Services.

A meeting was swiftly arranged for the next day at her new employer, Surrey Hogwarts. I had a half hour chat with the Principal, and in no time agreed to start the next day as their new Head of Student Services. A three-month interim contract swiftly became a one-year contract, and that is what I’ve done since August up until last Friday.

In December I had applied and interviewed for a position as Team Leader for English at the College Julia works at. On the last Wednesday of term before Christmas they called me to tell me I had not been successful. I had the management experience, but not the teaching experience, and the successful candidate had both.

However, they had been very impressed with my interview, so much so that they created a position for me and wanted to know if I would accept it! The position is part teaching (GCSE, A Level & Functional Skills), part pastoral (tutorials) and part safeguarding. I accepted, and handed in my notice to Surrey Hogwarts.

So on Monday I am back at the chalkface, and a little nervous. It has been over a year since I taught regularly, and I have never taught A Level before. But I’m also excited at the opportunity to take on new areas in a subject I love, and by all accounts the students and my managers are excited to have me. I fear I have been very heavily trailed, so have some expectations to live up to!

Friday was a very odd day. Usually when I leave a job it’s because I’m tired of doing it, or tired of the place I do it at. In the case of Murder College, it was soured by my experiences there. But Friday was different. I left Surrey Hogwarts with a mixture of joy and sorrow. Joy because I was leaving the department in a better place than I had come into it. I had done the job I was brought in to do. And sorrow because I will genuinely miss working there. My team and department are great. My manager was more than just a manager but a real mentor to me. The SLT are the nicest and most supportive managers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work for. So although I am moving to a job that I really want to do, it was a bit of a wrench to leave.

I’ve spent the past couple of months reading texts, looking at specifications and gathering up essential supplies (the joy of stationery!). Ready or not, here I go…

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