“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” Rita Pierson
A few days ago, I was talking to a headteacher about her school, her aspirations, challenges and Education in general. She is a new headteacher, who has only been in post six weeks and the conversation was quite inspirational. During the conversation she mentioned Rita Pierson, whose quote appears above, as the title to this newsletter.
Later that day, I received a link to the video of Rita’s TED talk. Rita was having the same inspirational effect on this new headteacher, as she had had on me over 10 years ago. She had wanted to share it with me as soon as possible! So, may I ask you, before reading the rest of this newsletter to watch the video of Rita Pierson?
Please can you click on the link below and spend 7 minutes and 48 seconds being reminded of why you are a teacher. Whether you are watching for the first time, or you have seen it before, please allow yourself the time to be inspired, revived and uplifted.
We are living in quite unique and turbulent times in our country. During the last six weeks, it seems the future education of our children and pupils is not high on anyone’s agenda. My newsletter of July highlighted how little time a large majority of Secretaries of State for Education and Ministers of Education had spent in their role since 1970. The influence of the diverse nature of their visions, philosophies and ideas would often last for less time than pupils spend in the EYFS, KS1 or post-16 provision. For better or worse, they have often had a long-lasting effect on the educational provision pupils experience for 12 years or more.
Rita’s story represents hope, with its practical and successful demonstration of how shared values and commitment to pupils, in the most challenging of environments, can raise their own expectations of themselves as learners, enabling them to achieve as pupils and people. My privilege for several years has been to witness in so many classrooms the high quality of teaching and learning.
I was privileged to be a headteacher in Birmingham when Tim Brighouse and Mick Waters inspired all of us in schools and improved provision for all pupils throughout our city. I, therefore, will end this month’s newsletter with an extract from their recent book ‘About Our Schools’, a brilliant analysis of how our Education system has evolved since 1976 and a source of positivity about the future:
It was an 11–16 school in Havering at the beginning of the London Challenge. Two Year 11 pupils had been given the task of showing me round. So enthusiastic and natural were they as they greeted fellow pupils or exchanged ideas with staff to whom they introduced me that, after yet another perfectly casual, ‘Oh, you must see the science department and you must meet Mr So and So,’ I confess I asked a question that I shouldn’t have done: ‘Tell me, is there anything bad about this school?’ And after a brief pause came the reply: ‘Well, yes there is.We only have 135 days left. We have to leave next summer.’ (p. 598). Crown House Publishing.
Please keep your faith, maintain your enthusiasm and believe in your talents, as the link mentioned earlier should confirm: –
John Croghan M.Ed. BA. Cert.Ed.
If you would like to speak to John please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Content Development and Monitoring
John Croghan M.Ed. BA. CertEd. has over 50 years of experience in education, as a teacher, leading learning in classrooms from EYFS to Y11, as well as a leader and primary headteacher. He enjoyed his role supporting Every Child Matters in schools and has advised and supported schools across the West Midlands, as well as leading OFSTED inspections. He is currently a school consultant, mentor, and governor.
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