Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Message of the Week Two

As we start a new school year, it is important that we realise that we are all facing a learning revolution in a rapidly changing landscape. A landscape of DfCSF, DfIUS, Children’s Services, consultants, commissioning, hosting and targets. The next two terms are going to require strict discipline, intense focus, research and analysis, coaching and stronger partnerships with those colleagues and stakeholders who share our objectives. We need to stay ahead of the game and we need to understand what works and why. We need to continue to provide outstanding services and support and continue to innovate and develop new and more powerful approaches to secure better outcomes for every child, every young person, every learner in our schools and in Education Leeds. This will require even more passion, commitment, determination and hard work but I also hope that we can have more fun, laughter and develop even better relationships and teamwork.

How are you feeling at the beginning of another year? How do you feel about your work? It’s important because how you feel determines our success. We all know that work gets a really bad press. It is continually portrayed as an endeavour and an endurance test rather than a source of enjoyment and an opportunity to make a difference. People talk about stress, overwork, pressure, and how hard their jobs are, but are they really that bad? Yes, we all work hard and many of us work very long hours, but we all work in a positive and rewarding environment with great colleagues where we are making an enormous difference, so it can’t be that bad. Sure, we are busy but it’s not really stress. Sure, it’s hard work but its brilliant and if it isn’t, are you sure that you are in the right job and doing the right things? A little pressure never really did anyone any harm ….. actually it releases endorphins which make you more responsive, more alert and make you brighter and cleverer.

I suppose what is important, above all, is that we all believe and have faith in ourselves and in each other. I promise that I won’t let you down and I know from experience over the last six years that the harder and longer I work at this crazy endeavour the better I get. Sometimes things may feel fragile, progress may feel slow and some things may appear to get worse before they get better. At times in the past our journey has been turbulent, rocky and difficult, and no doubt there will be challenges in the future. But if the last six years has taught me anything, it is that our hard work, focus, belief, passion, commitment and enthusiasm can get us through anything. If you lose your way, stumble or fall, remember how important this is. Remember that I will continue to support you and simply let me know so I can meet you and buy you a cup of coffee.

Keep the faith.

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