I am disadvantaged

Labels are interesting and a total pain in the arse.  According to the Government, I come from a disadvantaged background. This is me
1. What’s my job title and where do I work?
Assistant Headteacher and Geographer at Large at a high School in Brighton.
2. What am I currently working on?
Lots that I won’t write about but I line manage science, art and computing as well as the IT technical staff.  I look after the Pupil Premium spend, feedback, and am part of a three strong team driving CPD and the quality of teaching and learning.  One day I’ll be able to write about the rest.
3. Where have I come from?
I bumped into an old school friend at the GA conference last night.  Myself and my three siblings left without notice to live in one room a Women’s Aid hostel to escape a physically and verbally abusive man. It’s the first time I’ve seen him since then. As I like to say, I wasn’t always a teacher and I’ve been a trainee pilot, outdoor instructor and field tutor, demolition helper, bar man, fruit picker and builders labourer amongst other things. Did my PGCE at the University of Durham.
4. What gets me up in the morning?
On a school day the promise that I may make a difference by rocking up. When it’s not a school day a number of things. I’m a geographer, and teacher with an unshakeable belief in the power of great teachers and great teaching.
5. What keeps me awake at night?
The heartbreak that accompanies knowing that young people are being failed and that education isn’t equal for all.  The fact that we, as a profession, are failing students from certain backgrounds. The fact that attainment is more important that progress in the eyes of the establishment.  The worry that I don’t make an impact.
6. Who inspires me?
Many, many people. In the past week I’ve had the privilege of working with trainees and NQTs and the epic geography community.  The people that inspire me most are those that come in to work, every day, and focus on the humdrum. They do so without fanfare or fuss and genuinely put teachers and students first. Mad cap ideas and challenge inspires me.  Geography inspires me as the subject should equip young people to change the world.
Every person I worked with as part of Priory Geography. We changed the world, even if for a short time.
Mainly though, those people who make the day in, day out ordinaryness of teaching the very best it can be. Champions of learning not lessons. Those that do so in the face of contant change and see it as an opportunity rather than a curse.  Those that are in the classroom making change rather than rhetoric. Those that are far more capable and inspiring than me, walking the walk and making change every day.

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