Week four- @ASTSupportAAli

Late Nights…

Week 4 complete and I am beginning to realise how truly exhausting long terms are!! I mean it would be fine if all I was doing was meeting members of my team/outside agencies/parents etc. However, being in SMT I didn’t realise how many EXTRA ‘things’ are expected!

This week- 3 late nights- when I say late- I mean late!! Parent Tutor Meetings, Open Evening and University.  However- all were so beneficial to me to experience as a member of SMT.

Not about me:

I have realised when attending these late nights it doesn’t matter that I am there and I have an hours drive to get home, but it is about making sure the staff are thanked and felt appreciated. Hence why I made sure all the tutors in my team recieved a little thank you note from me. I also bought the teachers staying behind for open evening a cake and presented it to them with a smile. I made sure I went round every dept. and made sure I spoke to every member of staff trying their very best to impress both the parents and students. I am after all representing the entire SMT. I think letting staff know their efforts are noted and valued goes a long way…



My first INSET day- after an exhausting week it was all about performance management. Interesting that my school is setting 3 targets for all staff. I really like this idea and the consistency should help raise whole school performance and improve staff- (through their professional development target).

INSET as a member of SMT was interesting too- as before, although I shouldn’t admit it- I tended to try to sneak away and do as much as I could to catch up with my excessive backlog of things to do. It was pleasing to see others still doing this- turning a blind eye- as long as the days agenda was completed was the angle I was coming from…!


I believe strongly in humour and having a laugh! However, I have had to have a difficult conversation this week in making sure that I think long and hard about what I say and when I say it… Humour is such a subjective thing and one persons perception could be totally contrasted by another. Therefore I am beginning to see why more and more SMT are like robots…

‘Yes, OK, I am sorry you feel like that, I will look into it…’ All these flat, lifeless, emotionless, apparently cold comments are responses that will not result in anyone saying you made them feel silly, or childish, or didn’t take them seriously. (Thats not what happened to me- just giving some examples!)

I also am finding it difficult to become friends- I realise being a member of SMT I have an added responsibility- an added ‘glare’ if you like, being new, makes that glare even stronger! So, just being yourself and becoming friends I find is difficult. Will people start to take the proverbial ‘piss’ if you become a friend? Will they think they can push the boundaries? Time will tell…

But one thing I am already given up is staff football. No members of SMT played at my last school- I attemped it now for 4 weeks, but think it may be best to not play and say something/do something I might regret! (I am extremely competitive!)

The most important thing about this blog/these reflections are that I write them exactly as I think- I do not edit, or try to make them sound all intelligent. The posts are from my heart… and hopefully they help others…




  1. Hey!
    Thanks, loving the open nature of your posts and as a wannabe SLT I am appreciating your honest stance. The reality is so important; you are in a position of service and I like to think its similar to a 40’s Ward Matron….high standards with professional veneer and military like personal organisation to yield excellent results!! Health restored!

    Good luck for the rest of the term!

  2. I like the refreshing honesty and openness of your posts and it’s fascinating to watch your development/learning.

    Just a couple of things – as a new member of SLT I think you can be friendly without being a friend, exactly. It’s hard to be a friend when you might have to have a difficult conversation with someone the next minute. But you can still be warm, human and use humour – please don’t become a robot! Think carefully about what you want to say and how you need to say it, especially in a sensitive/difficult situation, but be true to yourself.

    John Dunford said leaders need four Hs – humanity, humour, humility and hope.

    Hope that helps!

  3. I too, am enjoying your frankness. It’s a shame about you choosing to not continue with the staff football matches – how has that progressed as time went on?

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