Monday, 20 February 2012

Welcome to Term 4, pick up your flippers at the door...

Our new teacher started today.  It is fantastic to welcome her into the school family and I can already see how well she is going to fit in.  Given that she is my first teacher appointment in four years in the job I have decided that her induction needs to be a priority.  She represents a third of the teaching staff and I'm also really aware that we tend to just rely on one another to do things.  Well, that's all very well if you know it's to be done!  I have managed the part where we attract someone fantastic, now I need to make sure she is welcome, included and (most of all) happy.  Happy, invigorated teachers make for exciting learning experiences and happy achieving children after all.

She is joining quite some team.  A brilliant AHT who can construct just about anything out of card and polystyrene, among her many skills.  A job share partnership that fulfill the promise of the Beatles song in the days they work between them.  And a team of support staff that literally lift us to heights that we couldn't imagine.  Never has the term support staff been so well used.  Years of work has ensured that everyone knows the difference they make to learning.  We're not perfect, of course, but if Carling made staff teams...

The induction to our village school began in a way that I hadn't quite envisaged.  However, reflecting on my day, quite appropriately.  As we unlocked bright and early this morning it transpired that part of her classroom floor was under several inches of water.  My brilliant secretary and I did what we usually do in such situations.  Panic wildly for several seconds before consulting the list of plumbers.  We then spent a few minutes balancing their average speed of response to a call out with how much we like to see them.  All of this was an education to our new teacher and probably not entirely as PC as it ought to be!  Anyway we decided on speed of response due to the quickly developing water feature.  As relaxing as the sound of running water is, her classroom is the furthest from the comfort facilities. 

Ken from across the road was with us within five minutes.  His wife ousted him from the shower as soon as she got the call!  The first assembly of term was then spent on a combination of school values and 'oooh what's Ken the plumber doing now?!' We have assembly in that room due to our lack of hall on site.  An hour, a nice cuppa and some top work from Ken completely solved the problem.  Burst pipes in the water heater as it turned out. 

The time spent in loving our neighbours pays off always.  Local meetings and groups are often on evenings and weekends but effort made for them means they love us too.  To the point where their morning shower and cuppa means less than helping us.  That is invaluable with no caretaker and a tight budget.

Our new addition to the team will have to be content with a view of the duck pond from her window rather than her own personal water feature!


  1. What a lucky lady she is joining such a special place of learning!

  2. Your school sounds like a fantastic place to teach. Working in a small school is HARD work but totally worth it when you have a staff team that work together/ share like you seem to :-)