A Letter to Leah in September

7 Months ago from Staffrm:

Dear Leah,

Happy September!

I’m just writing to make sure You approach this year right as I know you found your first six months before the holiday bloody hard.

You suffered the massive personal loss of your Granda and professionally you felt like you had hit rock bottom.

You moved school mid year and focussed on your rather tricky class, whilst trying to balance your new leadership role and never felt like you did the latter any justice.

You asked for ideas from your PLN online, but when it was still not getting there, you went quiet.

You saw injustice and a lack of support and worked yourself silly trying to rectify it on your own.

You worked hard to whip (figuratively) your class into shape, who had 4 different teachers in their first term. It was mentally, physically and emotionally hard, yet still you kept schtum because ‘There are probably harder classes out there. This is probably nothing compared to what other twitter colleagues have had to deal with. I’ll look weak.’

Your standard response to well-meaning friends enquiring about your job was ‘Hard, but I’m learning lots!’

You hated the thought (but dwelled on it a lot) that you’d made the wrong move. You gave up writing and attended only a few CPD events, but not with the same gusto.

Well, luckily for you, the well-rested and more freckly you, has had a revelation.

I know you already have more fire in your belly after ending the year feeling like you’d done your class justice, having settled into the school as an adult and feeling prepared for next year. Good for you. But not enough. You need to get yourself prepared for when that fire dulls. Which it will. It’s the rollercoaster of teaching!

Instead of fighting to keep it alight desperately, blowing at the dusty embers from your hands and knees, get your head up and look for some kindling:

//Unlike last year where you felt you had nothing worthwhile to share, seek out the little things that are working. With hindsight, there were many in those last six months.

//Demand more support from SLT both for yourself and others. Their support will add a spark in one form or another!!

//Use the events you plan and attend and squeeze all you can out of them. Attending isn’t enough to light the embers.

//Get back into #chats on Twitter: ask questions again; agree and get excited through further discussions; disagree because actually you have some alright ideas and beliefs. Fan the flames!

//Keep stoking the flame with these things you love: Find those great learning links outside of the classroom; get involved with working groups; and let yourself enjoy planning CPD events.

//Squeeze more time with family and friends who are out of the school loop to have a break. Get those feet up in front of the flames.

Keep working hard to maintain the fire in your belly for the children’s learning (and yours!)



David RogersDavid Rogers@davidrogers7 months ago

As you know j do enjoy a campfire analogy this is a great story. Honest and reflective. Five more weeks to restore and restoke and then come out fighting. I also moved mid year once and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Thanks for writing
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Jenna LucasJenna Lucas@jenna7 months ago

Love this post, Leah. Personal, honest and beautifully written. Always here for you…just shout
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Graham AndreGraham Andre@gandre7 months ago

Leah, an amazing very personal post and I am sure one that will resonate with so many people. Please never let it get like the last 6 months again, because you know if it does the #primaryrocks crew will hunt you down 🙂 xxx
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MeLeah Sharp@leahmoo7 months ago

Thanks @jenna and @gandre – I have definitely learned to not keep quiet! I don’t want to be hunted down by my fellow primary rockers! X
Jill BerryJill Berry@jillberry7 months ago

Really powerful stuff, Leah. Hope you do manage to have an energising summer break and that next term is a positive one for you. Please don’t go quiet! Asking for help is a sign of strength, and there are many people out there who care about you and want to help. Even if they have never met you!

Just love: “Instead of fighting to keep it alight desperately, blowing at the dusty embers from your hands and knees, get your head up and look for some kindling”…..

Kerry MacfarlaneKerry Macfarlane@kab21mac7 months ago

Really enjoyed this post @leahmoo Thanks for sharing. You’ve reminded me to take some time this summer to reflect on last year and make some decisions and plans about how to keep the fire well stoked for next year. ☺️

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