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Miss – there’s a bird in the kitchen


November 1, 2013 by hallyd


Yes you heard it correctly I was being told by a Year 5 child that there was a bird in the kitchen – it was a a Monday afternoon – about 3 ish, lots of children were coming to collect their packed lunches at the end of the day and apparently there was a bird in the kitchen.

Why was I being told?

Well since September I have been acting deputy head and this is one of the roles that isn’t always mentioned on the job description.

So to the bird, following the child into the kitchen there was indeed a huge magpie flying and bouncing off windows – with children either staring in disbelief or screaming in mild panic – we opened the windows, directed children calmly in and out of the kitchen while I talked to the magpie – yes actually spoke┬áto it encouraging it to leave. One of the children asked – “miss do you talk to everything” not quite but it was helping me. Mid conversation I was then interrupted to be told there was a flood in the girls toilet – again not a role I remember reading in the job description.Korean magpie

Fast forward to 3:45 – the magpie had left the building, all children had their packed lunches and the flood in the bathroom was more a slight excess of water that was being dealt with.

Another ‘typical’ day!

Although there in lies the irony – there really is no typical day. I was asked to ‘act up’. As deputy following the appointment of our Deputy to Head – I didn’t immediately jump at the chance – although I have been senior teacher and part of the SLT for the last five years, I had not seen myself in the ‘deputy role’. I enjoyed being in the classroom, leading on ICT, managing a team and gaining leadership experience when the Head and Deputy were off site, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the experience and kept telling everyone that it would be just for a term it would be a good learning opportunity and then back in e classroom.

How wrong I was – I have loved – every bonkers minute of it and there have been a few – magpies aside. I have been at the school for 12years with a yea

r off with both my children, it is the third school I have worked in and I thought I knew the school well – again wrong! The last seven weeks have been the biggest learning curve and challenge. On the first day back I was still working at 11 – my dad was staying and turned to me and said – you may be better off in the classroom if it’s like this every night! At least then you we re finished by 10.

It has at times filled every waking minute there is so much that I don’t know and things that I didn’t even know I didn’t know. Leadership is both challenging and rewarding,puts you out there and at times can be lonely – who do you turn to it’s often you and the head. I was also mindful of the fact that I was only ‘acting’ but also realising with every passing day that it was a role that I wanted, I wanted to be the deputy, I wanted to find out more, I wanted to develop my leadership skill, I wanted the challenge.


The first three weeks passed in a slight haze, learning walks, meetings, appraisals, teaching, meetings, teaching, training, more meetings, policies to be reviewed and re written and then just as I felt I wasn’t drowning we got ‘the’ call. I was off site when the call came through, working with PGCE students delivering a geography lecture when the one word popped up on my screen – I carried on, gave out the assignment and wished them all luck with their TP1, the student who is based at the moment in school came over and asked if we could meet at some point the next day, I smiled and said that finding the time may be difficult as we would be having OFSTED visiting each other – he stared at me, I smiled, told him it would be ok and headed back to school.

What followed was both challenging, rewarding, time consuming and tiring 2 days so far – but that is for another post.

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1 comment »

  1. DeputyMitchell says:

    Hi Dawn

    Being the Deputy is the best job in the school. However, it’s the most challenging too. Leading by example in the class whilst being a rock to the HT is just the start. You have exactly what it takes. Those that know you know how approachable you are and how natural you seem to find supporting other colleagues. You are in a position where you can implement all those ideas that you have had over the years. What’s even more exciting is that you can now dismiss some of the crazy ideas that might have been suggested to you over the years too. The school is a ball of moulding clay… You are Demi Moore, your HT Patrick Swayze… Ok, forget the romance, but a close working relationship will produce some wonderful results!!

    All the best Dawn, you’ll love it I’m sure!


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