In five days time I will be at work as Head of English for the very first time. At results day I could still hide a little, safe in the knowledge that at that point, I was barely more than a cabin boy with some weird primary transition duties and a wee snifter of KS3 to look after. However, come the beginning of the new school year, I have nowhere to hide.
This is an interesting position to be in, as I've never been in charge of much more than an EPQ before now. As such, I expect this year to be jam-packed with trials and problems and issues and disasters and, with a fair wind, some successes too. I have worked with some inspirational and excellent HoDs in my 7-year career, and would be ecstatic if I could measure up to them in any way. I have also met some quite difficult leaders, and I hope that I may well have learnt from the experience. Whatever happens, it will all be new and I will be under a great deal of pressure, so I think this could be the start of a healthy and possibly therapeutic series of blog-posts outlining my time as a proto-HoD, and the many adventures I have along the way.
I will attempt to blog weekly, as far as I can manage, but for now I shall content myself with outlining the focuses I have given myself for the first week, so we can track how they go over time.
1. Teach my lessons.
2. Get through the first day without forgetting I'm meant to be in charge of proceedings with my dept and waiting for someone else to start the meeting;
3. Finish the organisation for the year, including dates for CW, exams, moderation, meetings, reports and all the usual bumf;
4. Get my poor head around the intricacies of Performance Management and CPD;
5. Set my stall out re: expectations of behaviour, effort and progress;
6. Make my first major target for the dept clear: to be a 'famous' department that the students chat and yammer about, because interesting and chat-worthy things are happening there;
7. Have a chat with the new headteacher and see what he can offer English;
8. Sleep well;
9. Look after our two new starters in the dept, and make sure they know what's going on and how to get on well.
10. Minimise sobbing to around 5 minutes per day.
We shall see how it goes.