Friends, family, colleagues are precious to me, and have been invaluable. My network of “other mums” (who are primarily my friends) allow me to balance work, life and family by picking my kids up when I can’t get there, reminding me that tomorrow is the school fete, and I need to take in some cake money… and chatting into the small hours about rubbish.
Also important, the conversations I have with colleagues in the coffee room remind me on a daily basis that I’m not the only one who finds things tough/ busy/ amazing/ thankless/ wonderful at times, and I pick up good ideas for teaching particular topics and lessons.
But sometimes the formalization of these groups (or certain aspects of them) can make them even more valuable. We now have Department planning meetings, where we can take a particular aspect of the coffee room conversation (“How do you teach X? What went well last time? How could we work together to make it better this time?”) and make it an integral part of the CPD process. […]