I like teachers. Non-teachers often regard us as curiosities or downright scary, but it's hard to beat the mix of personalities and backgrounds, not to mention warmth and intelligence, that you find in any staff room. We probably get it from the kids! I only wish I had more time to socialise - and a gift for small talk would help.
Anyway- two very good days. We're in the thick of preparations for next week: classlists, classrooms, admin-admin-admin; books, materials, displays; software training; induction of new staff; updates for 'returning teachers' (not old teachers!); meetings for subject teachers, form teachers, department heads, year heads, everyone; meetings about exams and coursework, the International Award and extracurricular activities; and, in the midst of all this, a workshop on aspects of internal policy. And it was a good one.
The workshop was spread over two days; involved teachers, management and pastoral staff, both new and returning; and was, I think an inspired start to the year. Everyone mixed, spoke, was listened to. The crustiest cynic was as engaged and energised as the freshest graduate (well, almost....); and people who rarely have time to do more than nod and smile in passing (100 teachers working with 800 kids) discovered one another's names and opinions!
We look forward to feedback and follow-up: that, after all, was the point of the exercise; but to be brought together like this to debate and determine the policy which we will be implementing; to be listened to courteously and intelligently, and invited to consider other perspectives; to have colleagues and line managers brought into focus; and to round it all off with a relaxed pot-luck lunch (an intimate gathering of a hundred people you're going to spend a year with) - yeah - I think it was inspired.