Sunday, 10 January 2010

My life is brilliant and I constantly interact with talented and creative people, often ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things...

And talking about extra-ordinary things, I don't know where all this snow has come from. It's quite amazing sitting here looking out at a snowfield about 30cms deep and hearing the weather forecasters talking about more snow overnight and tomorrow, and the weather staying cold and frosty for the next week. I dug the drive out again this morning so that I can manage to get the car on the road and fight my way over to Leeds again. Interestingly the weather seems to have changed and the snow is now melting.

The last week has been a real struggle as colleagues have worked hard to keep their schools open so that we can keep the show on the road. I would like to say a huge well-done and thank you to our headteachers and to all the school staff who have gone the extra mile to keep our schools open wherever possible, and an especial thanks to those secondary schools who have stayed open to make sure our young people can sit their important exams.

Last week's usual meetings all went ahead, with additional meetings with colleagues from Government Office, councillor briefings for executive board, a briefing for John Battle MP, budget meetings, executive board and a meeting with the Leeds college principals. The highlight of my week was attending some sessions at the North of England Education Conference in York. This year the conference focused on 'unlocking children's potential', and I was fortunate to be able to attend some interesting and stimulating sessions on poverty and wellbeing, formative assessment, imagination and creativity. The evidence seems to suggest that people with imagination, ideas and creativity get results.

Interestingly, most of the extra-ordinary colleagues I know are very similar to the rest of us: most have had successes; and most have struggled and made mistakes in their lives. Most have been lucky; most have had people to help them; but most importantly they all have been prepared to work hard. But how long does it take to become extra-ordinary? The answer is no time at all... you can begin now and do it as quickly or as slowly as you want.

It's your choice.

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