A week to go before I leave the PRU and teaching ….then I will be an early retiree and a Behaviour and SEND Consultant! I’m trying to sort out my thoughts as people are now asking ‘how does it feel?’
I feel excited, nervous, apprehensive in turn but definitely ready for a new challenge. My working life has been a mixed bag of office , shop, dentist and some wonderful, amazing schools over a mind boggling 43 years with FE and uni and college thrown in! I’ve had a ball and been so lucky, lucky, lucky! But I’m not ready to throw in the towel or give up the ghost just yet….I have always been a grafter and I still feel I’ve a lot to give!
This feels like a new beginning and I’ve got such plans! I’ve already had offers of part time SEND work back in mainstream and got some initial work in the PRU (so not quite goodbye); there is a great need out in schools for this type of support so I’m hoping to be very busy! I want to update and up skill. …I want to attend more teach meets to bang the drum for the excluded….I want to write a book, articles, anything! I want to have time for long weekends away with my husband. I want the freedom to organise my time how I choose and go away in term time if I wish! I want to be able to finish at lunchtime on a Friday and enjoy a lazy pub lunch in a nice location. I want to have more time for family and friends…the message in these turbulent times is that life is too short to just rush on heedlessly. …I want time for quiet reflection and contemplation.
It does feel strange though to think I will have lost being in the workplace with my routines and my cosy office and the lovely HT, staff and children. So much of our identities are about our jobs and our standing in the world….I am defined by being a deputy head in a PRU….it is meaningful and drives my interactions with agencies, professionals, schools, parents, colleagues and children! Just the small thing of altering my twitter and Facebook profiles is going to be an act of finality…one minute you are in the ‘family’ of teaching, next you are not…and you close the door quietly behind you. I won’t know for sure how I feel until next Friday night but I sense a long and emotional week ahead and I know I will cry!!
It is the children really.They are on the fringes and they need people to fight their corner so that their needs are met and they go on to be safe and happy. I feel I have gone into battle and won many a campaign, but sadly the war is being lost as more and more exclusions are coming through…five more in the last week…and we are being overwhelmed with numbers and the chance to do good is sadly slipping away. It maybe that by Christmas even there will be excludees sitting at home on tuition because, yet again, the PRU will be full! It feels grim.
And yet I cannot be a one woman crusade forever (although it feels like I need to be) and I have to think of my own health and well being! I also have a poorly husband with a degenerative illness so I need flexibility in my life. However I still hope to carry on my work from within rather than from without! Maybe I can prevent an exclusion or two! Oh the power of positive thinking! From now on my watchwords are onwards and upwards and I am determined that #SENDforJax will become a byword for my mainstream colleagues.