Tuesday, 18 February 2014

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” ― C.S. Lewis

It is ages since I last wrote a blog and I have to say I have missed the opportunity to sit, reflect and put my thoughts down. Yes, this blog is a great method of self reflection and thought for me.

As you know, I have been in the middle of recruitment, I have attended around 80 interviews in two weeks! It is a time consuming process but worth every second in order to get the right people for our school.  I am very pleased with the teachers I have selected, along with input from the SLT, to be a part of our Bradbury School community next year.

I have written in a previous blog about the kind of intangible attributes that I look for in potential candidates. As a parent and as a principal, I know only too well the impact that a teacher can have on the attitude and emotional health of a child in their class. It is unrealistic to expect that a child will love or even get on with every teacher that they come across throughout their schooling, but I do hope that we, as teachers, are always aware of the precious person in our care.

I came across this quote written way back in 1975, actually, when I was still in high school. What was true then is still true now. I do wish that some of my high school teachers could have read this:

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.” — Haim G. Ginott, “Teacher and child: A book for parents and teachers” (1975)

As  teachers, we do not want to cut down jungles (the opinions around how schools destroy creativity are challenging, but that is another blog!) we do want to bring life and growth to our students and many factors contributes to this, a really important one being our home- school partnership.

At Bradbury, parent partnership is highly valued, anticipated and an expectation. I will always do my best to ensure that the teachers here 'water deserts' (I'm not sure that I would describe our students as 'deserts', but you get the point) and I am sure that our parents have a similar goal for their parenting!