Thank God it's Friday

4th March 2005 at 00:00
Monday It's a funny feeling coming to work today. My job was advertised in the Times Ed last Friday and there have been lots of calls from interested people. I remember the day I looked round this school 16 years ago and all the things that jumped out at me, things I wanted to change. Where did all that time go and how is it that there's still a list of things I want to change? Only 110 working days left to retirement, not that I'm counting.

Tuesday Too much time on my hands. High winds have brought internet connections to a stop, so I'm out of touch with the LEA. Find myself in full tidy-up mode: office shelves cleaner than they've been in a while; a clear desk; extra children detailed to tidy the reading shelves. Calm down, it's them who are supposed to be nervous, not me.

Wednesday First visitors. I've prepared what I'm going to say before my deputy shows them round. They are very good at high-powered management talk, but I haven't heard the word children mentioned at all. I find myself visualising them sitting at my desk, dealing with my staff and my children.

Thursday Busy day, starting with a meeting to prepare a bid for the Primary Learning Network. Really exciting, even at my age, until I come back down to earth and realise I won't be around to see it in action. Then another candidate -how young are headteachers nowadays? He talks about teaching and even about children. Much more my kind of person. He thinks the school is vibrant. I quite like that word. I wish I knew what he was thinking as he walked back up the drive.

Friday Feel like a visitor in my own school. Spend a lot of time wondering what I've achieved, what I'm most proud of, how many lives I've been privileged to touch over the years. Realise how much I'm going to miss it all. Seven more people to see next week. I've still to meet the person I want to hand over to, someone who's passionate about children, teaching and management - in that order. One hundred and five days to go.

Judith Lees is headteacher of a primary school in County Durham

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