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Newly appointed HoD and being a Mum

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by gorgybaby, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. I once had an A4 spiral bound book on being a Head of Deoartment. It was really useful, helped with the basics and I wish I could remember who I lent it to! From memory it was blue and orangey. I will try to get hold of it because it was very useful.
  2. Once you get used to a new school, life becomes so much easier. Having 2 children myself (I became HoD when youngest was 5), I know it can be hard.
    This is how I work:
    Kids go to breakfast club @ 8am - I go to work (husband takes them twice a week)

    I leave school by half 3 4 days a week - I work through my lunch to get done what needs to be done that day at school
    I become a mum.
    I do my planning / marking from about 8pm
    On weekends - Fri evg & Sat off, any work is done Sun pm / evg
    However, I do spend a small amount of time in the holidays making sure I am generally planned as much as poss for the next half term

    This is what works for us as a family. Hope it helps x
  3. Thank you all for your answers, it's nce to know that I am not the only one... though I knew that, it can feel very lonely sometimes!

    Noemie, I might have to take you up on this offer of SoW... I'll mail you if needs be!

    Thank you again everyone!

  4. Thank you jhanly, a very valuable post!
    I started in this new school in January (and Christmas was a very short break...), it's an independent school and the NOR is tiny compared to my previous schools. It should be manageable, but the system itself is so backward... I am forever wondering how the school works! E-mail is rare, no VLE, students work from textbook (and expect it) and very extremely rarely (once in a blue moon!) use internet to produce any type of work. My staff is not especially convinced by the use of modern technology in and out of the classroom and I feel that they want to stick to what they know... I like things to happen fast and I think I need to rethink what are the key areas that need pushing...
    I would need to sit down with 'myself' first and make a plan, a clear one of how I see the faculty in let's say 5 years! I have some personal work to do too for my classes, I feel that most of their lesson is not prepared and properly thought through which leaves me with a bitter feeling... I have learnt to cope with winging, but at the end of the day, I know I could have done better for them and that is another frustrating area of my life at the moment! There's so much that I want to practice the ostrich philosophy, hide!

    Ok, more marking to do and lesson planning and a trip to finish too... Need my bed!
  5. I think you're right about needing a five year plan (mine is three years, but we're basically talking about the same thing). However, you only took over at Christmas! I would view from then until the summer holidays as having two main aims. 1) Getting to know the school, staff and systems and 2) an information-gathering phase. Then, over the summer holiday (or summer term if you don't want to work during your holiday) formulate your plan so that you start September with clear priorities and a way to achieving your aims. I think basically you just need to go easier on yourself. (Something I've tried to do is have a "Wednesday Weekend" which basically means I try to leave as soon as possible on a Wednesday afternoon and take some hours off to do something special and planned with loved ones. It doesn't happen every week, but when it does it helps me feel I'm striking the right balance.)
  6. Hi there
    I am a HOD, managing three subject areas (7 staff) and I have two children under 4. I can identify with you completely, it is really hard. Don't try and beat yourself up too much. I get in school early and work, I work through break, lunch and free periods. I then work when the kids go to bed. I find it manageable but I am very organised so that helps. I still have free time. I just prioritise my tasks and delegate several of them to other staff.

    Everyone else on here has given you amazing advice on here. I just wanted to say it can be done. It just takes some getting used to.
    Take care!

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