T Minus 31
Today was my last day at work. After 11 years it’s goodbye to Thame and my school. A strange day in so many ways – strange to think I won’t see many of my colleagues again, certainly not in a long while. Tuesday is a day when I teach on both sites – so started at Lower School, depositing the microwave in the team room. Last lessons are always a bit surreal and a bit of a wind down, year 9 lesson 1 then up to upper school for year 10. The last clear out of the office and a bit of work on my leaving speech in lesson 3 then it was all over. End of an era.
The last day of term is a shorter one followed by a staff picnic and leaving speeches. In truth mine was a bit
Long but I wanted to thank the key people including my own team among many others.
I had some lovely gifts from myteam and colleagues, including an electric bug swat, a life straw, a Swahili phrase book, a device charger, wine and an iTunes gift card.
So it’s goodbye to Thame, next stop Mwanza! We fly out a month today!
T Minus 37
Last night was my last Faculty Meeting. I have headed up the ICT Faculty for one term short of 6 years, just over half of my time at Lord Williams’s.
It was a strange experience reflecting on the year and proposing actions for the year ahead of which I will have no part.
The ICT faculty is composed of 5 teachers, all specialist. My predecessor used the phrase “small but perfectly formed” which was very apt.
Following last week’s Legoland trip one colleague bought us all a key ring – this is a Lego representation of the ICT Team.
As teachers we spend the vast majority of our days apart, each with our own class of 28 -30 teens. This separateness is compounded by the split site and the fact that most are part-timers. However, it’s a strong team and generally we get on well and support each other. There can be friction at times, even so the key thing is working collectively.
I have always referred to them as Team. Fundamentally because I believe when we are all pulling in the same direction we can achieve more as a group than as individuals. I am the leader of the Team and this means making tough decisions at times, sometimes unpopular decisions, nonetheless everyone has a voice and (I hope) the team feel listened to even when they might not agree.
Thinking about this recently, I suddenly became aware of the fact that a rearrangement of the phrase “My Best Team” becomes “Me At My Best”.
I really believe that my team has been the best and I have been better by being part of the team. As I leave my team in under a week, I leave it in good hands. However, I will miss them.My team (seated) at my leaving do – Punting on the Cherwell River.
T Minus 161
Tonight we were at the Woughton Leisure Centre at Mike’s Big Birthday Bash. The Mike in question (Mike Cashman) had organised a charity fundraiser for Africa as a birthday celebration. There were 5 teams (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and White) each competing for a different charitable cause. No Tanzanian project so instead we were competing on the Red Team (Defeating Diarrhoea and reducing Child deaths in Angola). Each team competed in a variety of sporting and quiz activities over the afternoon and evening the team with the most points won and their charity got most funds although all get some.
I won both Badminton matches do doing my bit for Team Red!
Then there were some quizzes ( we won one of them!), food and other activities to end the evening. All in aid of good causes.
It was an eclectic bunch of people, some we knew well, but many we didn’t know – others I hadn’t seen in years – it was good to catch up. Anita, as she does, got talking to a woman who has just returned from Tanzania, having lived in Mwanza among other places, whilst working at the local orphanage. It was interesting to hear from someone who has been there so recently.