This much I know about…impostor syndrome

I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about impostor syndrome.

We’re all in this (education world) together. This morning I will be talking at The Sunday Times Festival of Education about bridging the Independent-State School Divide, with, amongst others, friend and colleague Leo Winkley the Headmaster of St Peter’s School. I currently chair York’s Independent-State School Partnership (ISSP), which some people might find strange if they had heard me speak a year ago at the Oxford Union supporting the motion that private schools do more harm than good! If you’re coming to the Festival it would be great to see you!

Who, me? People keep asking me to sign their copy of my book, “This Much I Know about Love over Fear”. I do not think I will ever rid myself of the awkwardness I feel when I hear such a request. The opening 362 words to my book might give you a clue as to why it all feels so strange to be here, at Wellington College, speaking, signing books and conversing with some of the most enlightened people working in education today…

A family portrait

Family portrait page 1

A family portrait 1

A family portrait 2

A family portrait 3

The difference between what you want to do and what you think you can do if you’re a working class kid is the key. We are all bound by our own self-imposed limits. But over the years I have stopped asking, Why me? and instead I’ve began asking, Why not me? And last night, as I sat as a guest at Sir Anthony Seldon’s invite-only Festival Dinner (huge thanks to the inestimable Carl Hendrick and David James for sneaking me in!), I wondered what my old man would have thought of it all…

Postmen cropped page 195

Uckfield Post Office staff 1955

Ernest Harry Tomsett, second row, centre

 

About johntomsett

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

7 Responses to This much I know about…impostor syndrome

  1. I am sure that your dad would be proud of you and keep telling us how much you know because it stops me in my tracks regularly and makes me think…hard! Thank you.

  2. Lovely! He might have said ‘who do these people think they are?!’ Or “sell-out”. LOL. 😜

  3. daithomas says:

    John
    I was supposed to be attending the festival and speaking about digital stuff but this fell through! I was hoping to catch your bit.
    Another time maybe. Great piece about your Dad I often ponder the same question about mine, what would he say now?
    Best wishes to all John
    Dai

  4. Pingback: This much I know about John Tomsett’s book | David Didau: The Learning Spy

  5. chooper29 says:

    You generously signed my copy in the bookshop queue at Wellington – thank you! It’s a great read. Thought-provoking, wise and honest.

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