This much I know about…loving the job again

I have been a teacher for 25 years, a Headteacher for 10 years and, at the age of 49, this much I know about loving the job again.


I do like a good aphorism. These famous lines from Mark Twain have always resonated:

Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt,
dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.

I reckon Tom Sherrington’s a modern day Twain! His liberating Tweet has a hint of Twain about it…

tom tweet

In many ways the profession’s on the front foot. I’ve just returned from two days at Ampleforth College with the leadership team thinking about developing our school and I feel empowered like never before. As a whole staff we have been asking ourselves a single question,

How do we create the conditions for every teacher to want to improve their teaching?

and over the past week colleagues have submitted their answers to that question – the result being a 10,000 word document with all the ideas we needed. We have  some more thinking to do before we present the pared down plans to our colleagues next Wednesday; in the meantime here’s my own aphorism which encapsulates the spirit of our two days’ thinking (with obvious apologies…):

Plan like no one’s observing, teach like you’ve regained your worth,
Lead like no one’s inspecting, learn like it’s heaven on earth.


About johntomsett

Headteacher in York. All views are my own.
This entry was posted in School Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to This much I know about…loving the job again

  1. willtayloruk says:

    Sometimes the briefest posts hold the most truth – I know that the doing is harder than the saying, but empowering staff to feel like this would be a massively transformational step.

  2. Alex says:

    Wonderful post, John. I really hope you will share the answer to the question on here, in some form…

  3. carmen says:

    The simplest things are the hardest to achieve!

  4. John, I have been where you are now – asked the similar questions – come up with some answers with great staff(s) and that is why I designed the iAbacus at the twilight of my career (44 years and counting) OK I’m selling a product that doesn’t mean I’m evil – we all have to be paid. In fact I gave up 18 months of lucrative consultancy to design it. I just want people to see it as a professional’s tool for professionals. If it doesn’t support the work in your collaborative document, in writing, I’ll jump off any 10 metre board in my MA gown. If it does help I’ll give you free licenses. Look at my paper on The iAbacus model – See what it does here for… validated self-evaluation….. (I gather we may be speaking at the same PRP Conference in March… )

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