That’s it! It’s all over! Another academic year has drawn to a close. What an unbelievably fast year it has been!
I love working in a big school for many reasons, but the high number of teachers means that there will inevitably be sad goodbyes at the end of each year. This, unfortunately, includes Danielle Cartwright this year, our much-loved Head of Year Four. As well as being a wonderful teacher, Danielle has been a truly inspirational leader. She will be sadly missed. I don’t know what we’re going to do without her!
Danielle’s sad departure created an opening. I was hoping that our Assistant Head of Year, Ada, would go for the Head of Year job so that I could apply for her role as Assistant. Fortunately for me, she didn’t. It was Danielle who encouraged me to skip this step and go straight for Head of Year. I toyed with the idea but, as much as I wanted to, I struggled to decide. For several reasons, I didn’t think that I’d get it. In the end, it was this question from Danielle that pushed me:
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
Even if I didn’t get it, I would have shown ambition and gained interview experience.
Why do we fear failure? We tell our children to take risks and celebrate failures. It’s all part of the learning process. We need to practise what we preach! Mistakes and mishaps are proof that we, too, are in our stretch zones (exactly where we should be). Can we even call this a risk? Once we put pride aside, there really isn’t anything to lose.
As it happens, I got it! I always had quiet confidence in myself and my potential, but I wasn’t sure if others saw it. They apparently do (and it means the world to me). I hope that this inspires others to bravely take risks. Whatever you hope to achieve, just go for it! Don’t allow anything (especially not pride) to stand in your way. Furthermore, don’t try to predict what others are thinking and what others want. When I did this, I created obstacles and problems in my head that didn’t actually exist. Stay humble without crippling yourself with doubt.
The risk is obviously not over. It has barely begun! Now I actually have to live up to it and prove myself. Next year, I will undoubtedly be in my stretch zone and, of course, the inevitable mistakes will happen. Bring it on!
“In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or back into safety.”
I’m determined to make a success of it and committed to working as hard as possible to fulfil the potential that was seen in me. I have worries and fears, but I’m also hugely excited. I’m reminded of this fantastic quote from Erin Hanson:
I love this quote (it’s a great one to share with students). The excitement of possible success should always outweigh the fear of failure. The consequences of “falling” are nothing compared to the opportunities that come with “flying”. I will keep this in mind as I take on the leadership challenge. In particular, three things give me the confidence to proceed:
- The confidence that others have in me (especially Danielle).
- Ada as Assistant Head of Year.
- The amazing Year Four team (whatever mess I make, these awesome teachers will always make me look good).
In an upcoming post, I’ll share my goals for next year (both as a teacher and new leader). To stay in the loop, follow my blog or its Facebook page. For now, I’ll leave you with this fantastic tweet. I encourage you to save it (as I did), remember it, and think of it whenever you start to doubt yourself. Don’t ever look down!