Once a teacher, always a teacher; that’s what they say.
It's certainly true in my case and it's never more evident than in the way I view the calendar year. Even though I left front line education over a decade ago, September still feels like the start of a new cycle.
It's one of the things I miss most about teaching; that sense of a new beginning. The anticipation of a new cohort of students and the chance to develop my teaching and my approach. I loved the opportunity to build new relationships with a new class and to begin a fresh journey together.
To this day I still try to treat September in the same way. I try to find time over the summer to reflect and set new goals. I use the time to re-calibrate and challenge my own thinking and practice. I hope every year I can be better and that my sense of refreshed energy will sustain me during the challenges ahead.
Of course, not everyone has the luxury to take a prolonged break, but I do believe we need to give ourselves permission to reflect; to not feel guilty about taking time away; to be still and to review.
One of the first things I learnt whilst training to teach was the importance of ensuring children always felt they had the opportunity and permission to change. That they were allowed and encouraged to make mistakes, to change their behaviour or attitude and to develop without fear.
This shouldn’t just be confined to children. We should all feel we are able to change and develop without fear and also be easier on ourselves when we make mistakes. We should also bear this in mind if we manage others and aim to make them feel the same.
As the sun sets on another summer, it's time for a new beginning.