I occasionally need to remind myself why I started writing this blog. In the hurly-burly, challenging variety of tasks that makes up the week of the typical SBL, I know that it is vital to do something for yourself. For me, it’s this blog. It was designed to keep me sane, calm me down, help me reflect and learn, and give me an outlet for the intense pressures that can come with the role.
We all know that it is hard to switch off from the to-do list and I sometimes see myself as a warrior. Not in the literal sense of course (we’re not yet engaged in all-out warfare!) rather, that I stand guard as a protector of my Trust, a facilitator, a solution finder and a champion, but it’s been a tough week. I’ve had some major deadlines. I’ve had colleagues relying on me to come up with solutions and I’ve sometimes, I’ll be honest, felt like the pool is getting deeper.
…you cannot withstand the storm.
I’ve always told my children, as soon as you can’t touch the bottom, it doesn’t matter how deep the water is and it helps me to remember this when I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed. It reminds me that I have a team around me who can (and often do) provide a buoyancy stop while I gather my wits together. I’m in no doubt that, with the support of my amazing colleagues, I can withstand almost anything this role throws at me. It’s up to me to find the confidence in my skills, experience and voice to support them.
And the warrior whispers back…
It has struck me recently that SBLs need to promote themselves more vocally into the forefront of education leadership and embrace the strength of their voice. In the current economic climate the SBL role has become an absolutely necessary part of the wider conversation and I don’t think we can support our schools if we take the role of the shrinking violet. In this time of change, efficiency and reconstruction, we must not be reticent. We must challenge. We must criticise (constructively). We must offer solutions and we must support and drive their implementation.
Because I firmly believe that today’s SBL is in a strong position to guide our nation’s education through this challenging efficiency process, and when the path gets difficult…
…I am the storm