I read somewhere recently that you should plan for how you want your year to end, rather than setting resolutions for the new year. This year, imagining a year ahead is really difficult for me due to the serious illness of someone I love. Looking back at the first of last year's 'hopes' that 'My new Withings fitness tracker stays on my wrist' now feels horribly insignificant. To be fair, for the most part it has, but I'm also a stone heavier and still can't run 5k without collapsing into a sweaty heap. However, most importantly, I'm healthy and I will never take that fact for granted again.
My second hope was to 'keep doing things that scare me a little bit'. With three conferences in the next four weeks - two of which I'm speaking at - I think I've managed to meet that one. It feels timely that I've got a TES piece coming up on the concept of bravery. Spoiler but I think now, if anything, it's time for me to be less brave, to pause and consolidate what's been a steep learning curve over the last few years.
And so ahead into a new year.
I wish you all love, happiness, and contentment.
3 positives for 2017
1. I became an Assistant Headteacher
2. I bought a wonderful, stupid, ridiculous house with my husband
It's got stained glass, odd-shaped windows, a view of the countryside, hidden rooms, and a den at the bottom of the garden. We're flat broke, and it probably wasn't sensible for two people who can't do DIY, but I'm utterly in love with it: it gives you a strange sense of contentment to think you may be living in the same house of 30 years.
3. I got to contribute to a DfE policy document that I'm really proud of
I'm pretty sure I wear my political allegiances on my sleeve so receiving a 'thank you' email from a member of the Conservative cabinet wasn't something I ever thought would hit my inbox. However, I'm prepared to work with anyone to improve our profession, for the good of teachers and students alike. Should the proposals fall victim to party reshuffles, it will be short-sighted in the extreme. Our children deserve better than being subject to the whims of any political party
3 hopes for 2018
1. I can be a really good friend
I've got friends who deliver birthday cards by hand. I've got friends who you come off the phone feeling better for speaking to. I've got friends who prioritise things other than work. I want to be more like my friends.
3. I can be a really good line manager
As a Middle Leader, I managed a large team and people with considerable areas of responsibility, but working with someone whose specialism is wholly new to me, and in a considerably different context to which I'm used to, brings new challenges. I've got the mantra of 'support and challenge' ringing in my ears and I hope I'm able to get the right balance in the next 12 months.
2. I can have a tangibly positive impact in my current role
In a new school and new post, this is a year of learning, but our children can't wait for me to get my s**t together, they need a strong leader now. I hope that my Head feels he's appointed the right person when the summer comes and that together we can continue to build on their successes.