Headteacher's diary

17th November 2006 at 00:00

Today I didn't feel much like a leader or even a manager, but more like a grumpy administrator. Email being down was a pain but at least I got through piles of paper. I sensed the stress levels mounting as I passed down the work but delegation is guilt-free: job-sizing sorted that. My brain won't switch off, at midnight, because I worked too long tonigt. I'm going to feel like death warmed up tomorrow.


I made it round the classes, arranging times for monitoring visits. Susan called it "coming in for a wee nosy". If only she knew that I hate it as much as they do. The same goes for the in-service day that I spent ages planning. I could have done without the PTA meeting until 9pm but they're a nice bunch with no axes to grind.


I was pleased to be able to tick some development plan boxes with careful selection of activities for the next staff meeting. Who would know if I did all of this less than perfectly? I tell myself that I do it because I'm a professional and set myself high standards but I wonder if the truth is that I am simply compulsively driven. My expression must be stuck in friendly and approachable mode after parents' night. My feet are killing me.


The staffroom was quiet. Even the screechy ladettes were too knackered to dominate. I had to take a high profile around the school. My usual blend of smiles and meaningful looks at targeted individuals kept their gas at a peep. The annual nightmare has begun, with staff absence and no hope of cover this side of Christmas. Oh joy!


While being talked at by the great and the good, who have never run a school and would need to check the corporate policy before running a bath, I mentally reviewed my week and did the sums on how my time was spent: 25 per cent on planning collegiate activity, 5 per cent on arranging teachers'

CPD, 5 per cent on pastoral and discipline, 15 per cent meeting parents and 50 per cent on paperwork. I've a bottle of wine and a good book lined up for the weekend.The writer is a primary headteacher

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