It’s been a while since my first Face to Face session for my NPQSL, and I have been meaning to blog about how the day went. Having had a few weeks to distance myself from the day and my first task to undertake has given me plenty of food for thought.
Approaching the day itself, I was very apprehensive of what was to come (read my blog here). I felt under prepared, inadequate and lacking relevant experience. Not like me at all. Reading the introductions of the other participants was very daunting. I’m not sure what I was expecting everyone to be like, but whatever it was, they weren’t! Everyone was very down to earth; many were as apprehensive as I was. We were a very mixed bunch of people: primary, secondary, special schools, alternative provision, EYFS providers, private schools. You name it, we had representatives there. The huge variety led to lots of very interesting conversations. I even found that I had much to contribute from my own experience. Already, I have my little group of “train buddies” with whom I travelled, and the conversations about the day continued well into our journey home. I learned even more about life in different settings from them than I had done during the day.
We had a multitude of pre-course tasks to do, all of which I had diligently completed. However, this didn’t mean I had the right paperwork for the day (interestingly, nor did anyone else!), so I did feel a bit like a naughty school girl trying to read over people’s shoulders! A laptop is a definite necessity for next time, so I can download all of the random documents we suddenly need to have with us! Despite the lack of documentation, I really enjoyed the activities. I had seen the outline for the day and was feeling very daunted by the analysis, the mingling and working with different people, the presentations, but the group was so friendly and the atmosphere so unthreatening that I felt completely at ease. The day flew by as we worked through session after session – although it was exhausting! Had it not been for my train companions, I’m sure I would have nodded off on the 2 hour trip home.
At times, the workload did seem a little overwhelming, and I am sure it will continue to be so, especially once we start the online modules, but I can see the value in much of it. The task ahead of our next session was to analyse our RAISEonline data and find strengths and weaknesses (I’m sure there will be a blog on this to follow very soon!), which is a vital skill for any member of an SLT, and especially for me currently as Assessment Leader. Much of the work required for our assessed project can fit around my existing role, but just being recorded in more detail and with more thought to its impact: that can’t be a bad thing. As a result of our discussions about the competencies on which we are assessed, I am already beginning to change my leadership style. I am beginning to hold others to account by not doing everything for them – a huge challenge for me!
I am only a fraction of the way along this NPQSL path, but I can see that I am going to enjoy it.