I am a thirty one year old English teacher from Scotland (not an inherent contradiction, despite what some of my more erudite students may argue!). I initially taught in a large comprehensive in central London and I was very privileged in those fledging years to be promoted to an Assistant Headteacher role for two years. Despite clearly being very inexperienced I learnt a huge amount: about the nature of leadership; about working alongside teachers;  about how to manage responsibility and numerous others! While stumbling through these two years I did feel that I had not yet “earned my stripes.”

While we all suffer from imposter syndrome to a degree, I, perhaps harshly, felt I had no real integrity in the work I was doing with colleagues; particularly in seeking to develop and move forward teaching and learning. I am now in full timetable teaching role and completing a part time Masters in Educational Leadership. The mission to learn and develop continues.

This blog was inspired by reading the beautiful collection of essays by Oliver Sacks, ‘Gratitude’.  Sacks wrote the essays in his eighties, in the final two years of his life having been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His humility, energy and love for life is hugely inspiring, none more obviously than in this:

 “I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.

 Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

FlameI am under no illusions of grandeur: I will be a much more primitive “thinking animal” and my “intercourse with writers and readers” will be significantly less profound than anything Sacks penned! Yet it was the idea of reflection, and the merits of sharing that has inspired me to attempt an entry into the world of blogging. The blog is merely offered as an attempt to crystalise and share thinking about teaching and learning. It will also be a place to prioritise reflection on what helps children to learn. In short: to find a weekly space to express gratitude for something that has ignited a teaching and learning flame!

Thank you for reading, please email me with any thoughts you have.