Claire’s Progress Log
I’ve been meaning to find a space to reflect on my day to day practice as well as on the massive (and I mean Godzilla-esque) change initiative my journey has brought me to push for in my school. I am looking for a frank and honest place to be open about my frustrations.
I have been on a long and painful journey that includes moving schools for undermining behaviour by my HOD, principal’s nominee and DP and a pregnancy as a method of escape from a dire situation. After long deliberation about my future, I’ve returned to work, my beautiful daughter is now 2 and I’m in a much happier place than I was.
A little context, my school is set in rural New Zealand. I teach year 9 to 11 maths (grade 8 – 10). I am the only female maths teacher the school has had in about 20 years. This year, I was promoted to HOD of the junior curriculum as my counterpart (and others) acknowledged that I was the one doing all the work anyway and should get recognition for it, so he stepped down.
The role has brought with it some unexpected leadership opportunities including developing an optional extension program, moving to individual progress based assessment and (the biggest challenge of all) a change initiative to move the department (and possibly the school) towards a constructivist and indigenised approach as this seems to connect with our students better.
It’s exciting but I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed. A small pilot project has bloomed into a massive, all out program which I have to lead and I’m not sure even where to start. We’ve got support from the Ministry of Education (run by Massey University based on Boaler’s work), which I think is a good start. I feel like I’ve signed up to an eating competition I haven’t trained for! I know I’ve got good people on my team but they’re….latent….very slow to move. Slow and steady wins the race, I know, but I’ve never been a leader before and it’s daunting when I’m surrounded by tortoises.
So….yeah…that’s where I’m at. I’m off to make up the class lists for next term and think about my action plan….