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Words of advice

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Flyguy, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Hi all -

    I am due to start my first headship in January. I am very excited and looking forward to this challenge. Do any of you have any last minute words of advice for me?
  2. Don't do too much too soon, take your time to know and understand the school and the staff well. Lay out your stall, so people know what you stand for and keep really positive making sure you build strong professional alliances. Lots more I could say, but I am sure others will chip in too.
  3. Thanks seagirl!
  4. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    However tiring you think it's going to be, you have no idea! I didn't. Have a chat with friends and family now and explain that it is very unlikely you will be able to maintain the social norms for a while. If you're not in contact or look a bit zombie for a while it's no reflection on them.

    After that, as has been said, relationships are key. Unless there are dire problems, try not to feel pressured into making changes too early. Try to make contact with local heads, and a mentor head through NCSL as soon as you can. It's really good to have someone to talk to, and ask silly questions of.

    Lastly, and I'm struggling with this one, start polishing that rhino skin, and don't take it personally!

    Congrats, and I hope it goes well.
  5. TOWIB

    TOWIB New commenter

    I agree with Ladykaza you have no idea how tired you are going to be. I take my hat off to all you Heads! Our HT has been off this half term and I've had to step up. I've loved it and hated it in equal measures! You are everything to everybody and no matter how busy you are you have to smile and be interested in everyones buisness. Everyone will want to tell you everything. My advice is be organised, make lists, write everything on a staff room board where people can access information and can't say they didn't know (they still will), put paper and pen by your bed for when you wake up and remember you forgot to tell the HLTA that they are/not needed this week! When you are unsure pick up the phone and find out as much as you can for yourself so you can use your own judgement and not be reliant on others. I have found that the majority of people/sevices are happy to talk you through and help you out.
    Thick skin is a must, you are not going to please everyone.

    Enjoy your Christmas break and come back full of energy. Don't worry about putting on those extra pounds because you'll soon burn them off! Good luck.
  6. Thanks everyone for all your advice. I am eager to go now but I am going to try to make sure I relax as much as possible during the holiday!
  7. You will never be able to prepare for the unexpected...which often occurs as a head, you never know what will come through your door, stay calm above all else and stick to your convictions, your governors appointed you because they believe you can do it..it's the best job in education.... enjoy...
  8. Thank you - that is some really nice advice elainejh
  9. Pace yourself, and enjoy the quality moments.
    Listen, reflect, communicate and <u>then</u> act. The staff will bring their own views to you as to what needs "sorting" right NOW before disaster strikes. You're the boss!
  10. Zeus-ish

    Zeus-ish New commenter

    Suss out your leadership team before you make any decisions - learn who to trust and who has an agenda. It won't take long, but will be hugely beneficial! Whilst you are doing that, be visible. Be at the gate, in the dining hall, walking about the school. Meet the Heads of all your feeder schools if you are in middle/secondary - they know what's what too. Oh, and make time for some quality meetings with your CoG - reassure them that they will be involved, but make the boundaries clear too. Apart from that, have at least one, if not two days where you leave at a reasonable time - and let staff know you are doing this because you don't want a culture of working all hours = good. Good luck - being a Head is great!
  11. Check out the differences between your contractual obligations and those of the rest of your staff so as to not demand anything you have no legal right to demand.
  12. quod erat demonstrandum
  13. Q.E.D. can be used to ridicule the specious reasoning of another person by mockingly attaching it to the end of a poor argument, and also as a way of avoiding constructing any reasoned alternative argument.
    I take it you are a headteacher too.

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