New year, new promises?

New academ

This is the second in a mini-series of posts linked to the start of the academic year.

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Image used with permission from Danni Beach Photography

Regular readers and Twitter followers will know that a couple of weeks ago I got married.  Mrs Rogers is awesome and, together with our little Henry, we make up a perfect family.  We also have an extended family and, as well as our day, the last two weeks have seen the engagement of my little, big sister and best friend of almost 20 years.  My little, big brother has also gotten into university after leaving the RAF.  If anything, the past two weeks and previous four weeks with my son have served to put teaching into context.

Trust me – I’m going somewhere with this Winking smile .

It seems to me that I may have lost a little direction and sense of purpose.

Couple this with the ‘tradition’ of teachers making ‘new academic year’ resolutions I began thinking.  Thinking about vows and their importance.  While I admire those that make resolutions twice a year, I’ve never been one for making them.  Instead, I prefer to revisit my key principles.  I won;t share my personal principles here, but I will talk about those that refer to teaching.  It’s at this time of year that I re-examine them.  Are they still relevant? Do they need adjusting?  One could look at these principles as vows.  Renewing vows can have a powerful effect.

In April this year I published a manifesto:


Notice that I see my core purpose as education and not politics.

Is this still relevant? Is it enough to move forward? I think so.  Although a little vague, the above sums up my approach.  Naive? Maybe.  But what about career progression I hear you ask?  I am driven, but I like the challenge more than the position.  In particular, I am less willing to mess with the balance between work and life since becoming a father.  Having said this………

I’d encourage you to visit the original post for an expansion of each point.

This manifesto comes from an earlier source though.  Schools are complicated, political beasts and extremely frustrating.  I can’t remember where I picked up the following questions, but they are the only ones with which I make decisions:

  • How does this make learning better?
  • How does this help my team make learning better?

If our core purpose is education, are these the only questions that we need to ask? I think so.

I strive to ensure that everything I do in school is linked to these questions.  I say strive as it’s a difficult road.  Professionally, the last three and a half years have been the most difficult and the most rewarding.  Throughout, I’ve kept these questions and the manifesto (since April this year) at the front of my mind.

Why am I a teacher?  To make learning better.

I’ll let others judge the success.

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