If I had a pound for each person that asked “What’s the plan?” then I would enough money for several lottery tickets, and with a bit of luck, would never need to work again! The truth is. There is no plan. Work is too busy to be able to plan something extra whilst still working. So I didn’t. I planned to leave. The first day, in all honesty, was a little bit shocking. I suddenly realised I HAD NO PLAN! What was I going to do? How were we going to live? I have a mortgage, a two year old daughter and a new child on the way. Oh my goodness. I’ve made a terrible mistake…but it was nice to lie in this morning. And, shall I just watch a bit of television. Wave my wife off to work. Wander around the house a little more…then back to panicking. That was the entirety of day one. I did miss out the nice part there…for the first time ever on a Tuesday, I collected my daughter from Nursery. And the worst part – for the first time EVER, I dropped my daughter off at Nursery. She cried, gripped my neck and refused to be left. Never have I experienced heart-break like it. I vowed never to take her there again. My wife thought otherwise.
The week settled down. I realised that I am lucky as a teacher. I can always go on supply. (Although, even just writing this, it has spooked me again and I’m beginning to feel panicky!) The truth is, there’s lots to do out there. You might not want to do it. But sometimes you need to. I stopped panicking. The weekend before I left I saw a job which I really liked the sound of. It starts in September. I put a lot of effort into the application form. I did that mainly all day Wednesday. It would be a dream to get that job. To know that I had all these months off and a guaranteed job in September. My interview technique is unfortunately a little ropey. It usually consists of shouting ten random words, without a real context, and walking out. However, this is for a Deputy Headteacher job. One which would allow me back in the classroom – what I trained to do. One which would allow me to look after staff, and support them. A personal moral goal. One which would allow me to look at inclusion for the school – something which I feel very passionate about.
In this time, I bought a Best Self Journal. It is an amazing book which helps you to organise your days. The thing which really terrifies me is that I get to September and have achieved nothing. This is my one chance to have this time off. This time needs to count! Set a goal and work towards it over thirteen weeks. Sounds simple. To be honest, with the Best Self Journal it really does sound simple. Hopefully it will be. I set my goal. I’m not going to share that goal with you right now. All you need to know is that, regardless of what happens in September, before I get there I want to have had a proper crack at a few whips!
After the application form, the rest of week 1 was spent as it should have been. Relaxing. Recuperating. Re-finding myself. I went out for lunch with my wife on a Thursday. Have we ever done that outside a school holiday? I enjoyed a coffee with a friend. Had I ever done that? I thought about work quite a lot. Has anyone remembered that the 500 word challenge has started? Did someone remember to take the house point count so they don’t all need to be counted in July? Has the barrier been repaired? Are all action plans up to date? What is the progress of Year 4 looking like? Then quickly remembered I didn’t need to think about it. That was a nice feeling.
My daughter and wife both got poorly. This left me looking after them. Something I’d never had the time to do. Whilst it was naturally sad that they were poorly…it was lovely to look after them.
I had some contact from work. I was devastated to leave the people. I miss them. The site manager is a legend and phoned. He is sad I’ve gone…I might need to adjust my goal so that he can come with me. I always knew I’d be terribly sad to leave the people. The people were amazing. Not just the staff, but the parents and the children. The staff and school staff from the Academy chain. The staff from local schools. The consultants that we worked with. HR. IT companies. The list is endless. I’ll miss them. But it still feels the right decision.
It’s now time to focus. Focus on my goal. Focus on getting my CV out there. Updating LinkedIn. Sorting out a bedroom for the new arrival.