#Nuture1314- @ASTSupportaali

The very nature of this blog new to the post was designed as a way of me reflecting on my journey into SLT/SMT… I started off writing posts weekly in my first half term, this half term I reflected with one post. (Scroll right down to read them…)

When I type these ‘blog posts’ I literally log on- type away, without fussing, or editing and just press publish. The nature of this post has been stimulated by https://twitter.com/ChocoTzar & https://twitter.com/rlj1981 challenge of listing 13 accomplishments of 2013 and 14 targets for 2014…so here goes!

These are in no order- just whatever floats out of my head first!

1- This may seem trivial to some, but I am ever so proud of the fact that I have not compromised who I am. I stay true to my faith, my culture and my heritage. Whilst continuing to break the mould, be different and unique! That is a little cryptic- but makes sense to me!

2- My partner and I have bought a house! My mum has been going on and on at us about getting onto the property ladder- so we finally took the plunge. We very proud owners of a 3 bedroom semi-detached property in an extremely affluent area. (Coming from where I was raised, to me it is a remarkable achievement.)

Here is a little about my life- I presented this to Year 10 and Year 11 boys at School.
(The last slide was NOT SHOWN!)
3- I have been heavily involved in Twitter and as a result have launched #TwitterCoaching- see here. This to me has been so successful. It gives me a real buzz knowing that through my ideas or work I am indirectly helping so many more students that I have access to in my own school. @Danwilliams1984 has been a fabulous support to this venture.4- My online toolkit- I have been really proud of my teaching toolkit- which to date has had over 500,000 hits!

www.cheneyagilitytoolkit.blogspot.com – I regularly upload ideas that come into my mind that I feel teachers all over the world should/could try with their students. I try to make the activities non-subject specific and applicable to any age/phase. But, what I feel has been the major achievement with this toolkit has been the amount of blogs/toolkits that I have inspired others to create- I jokingly created the term #ToolkitCrew for the friends that have taken the plunge in creating their own teaching and learning inspired blogs/toolkits!

5- Teach Meets- I would describe myself as a semi-pro of the Teach Meet scene! I have now attended 6 and presented at 5. It has been so humbling receiving messages from people from near and afar asking for me to keynote/present at their teach meet. I feel so honoured when others want me to present my ideas or have heard about the response from a previous Teach Meet I presented at.

I have also organised my own mini teach meets with Reading College- @HannahTyreman and a major Teach Meet; #TMOxford!I was blown away by the amount of sponsorship that was provided to me by big name companies. Through these Teach Meets I have also met some amazing people! Who I genuinely regard as my friends! (Deb/Mel/Dan/Hannah/Alex/Fran and others!)

I think I am a little moody/arrogant! I tend not to ‘get involved’ with others, I keep myself to myself- so I was really surprised when I went along to #SLTCamp, I mingled, I got involved and I loved it! I am all for the CPD but the meeting/socialising from Twitter/Teach Meets- I still haven’t got my head round it yet…!

6- Sport- I am the first Team captain of a cricket team that plays in the Berkshire Cricket League- Premier Division. I took over having seen us relegated two years ago. I managed to secure promotion in my first year and consolidated the team with a top 5 place finish back in the Premier Division this year. This has been extremely hard on top of all the school work!

7- Family- I never miss a birthday, or a celebration- I have been really proud of giving my time to my family, ensuring I am around for them when needed and when expected. I believe heavily in the family unit. Sticking together and supporting each other is vitally important for me. This should also apply to your family unit in school; classes? Depts?

I also became an uncle again this year! My youngest sister had her first child. 🙂 I am now  old enough to understand this all. Therefore I am going to be there for him from the very first day.

8- External CPD- I wrote an article for Guardian Teach, presented a webinar for hundreds, and chaired a conference for Optimus Education! To be sat amongst some major players in the education sector to me was mind blowing. Feedback from the attendees was also extremely positive!

9- Competition- I am extremely competitive, I like to win, I like to be the best, I like to be seen as the best at what I do… I left my school with the best results at GCSE for any subject and… anyway- will stop there- you catch my drift!

10- I managed to become an Assistant head- I have always bleated my long term plan to all that know me closely; ‘By the age of 35 I want to be a Head Teacher!’ I started teaching at the age of 21…I am an assistant head now at 29- I am aiming to become a deputy by the age of 32 and a HeadTeacher by 35! (Well, thats the target anyway!!) There is only one reason I want to be a Head Teacher- so I have the power to make the most serious changes to better the lives of young people. That is what I am working towards each and every day.

11- #SharingisCaring- I have managed to maintain several ways of sharing ideas with others; my toolkit, my pinterest, my Facebook, my TES accountYouTube and this blog! To me sharing isn’t about self promotion- hence why I offer my toolkit for guest posts etc. It is simply about providing other teachers with some ideas that they may be able to use in their classrooms. Ultimately to provide better teaching and learning for the young people of this world.

12- I have maintained a good work life balance, since the start of my teaching career, I still have not worked on a friday night or saturday at all! I refuse! I also do not work during the holidays. (This is with a few exceptions obviously!) I have also made time for my friends every holiday!

My 2014 Targets- In no order again!

  1. Complete my National Award for SEN and Masters
  2. Read more- I really need to read the stacks of educational books I have purchased
  3. Have a child!!
  4. Push through the idea @Danwilliams1984 and I have- watch this space
  5. Get in shape! Workouts/diet plans the lot!
  6. Go to more ‘big name’ events- like Northern Rocks/Bett etc an be more sociable!
  7. Develop my teaching of GCSE English- learn like an NQT- Develop my personal writing skills
  8. Get involved in more external CPD
  9. Travel more and visit more schools
  10. Manage my time better
  11. Be a better son/uncle/brother- see my mom/dad more- Be a better friend… Be a better Fiance…
  12. Make my house my home
  13. Learn a language on the drive to and from work
  14. Nail Special Educational Needs- Quality First Teaching- make an impact in my new school

So there we have it… lets see what happens!!



  1. Interesting to read, Amjad, and several of the things you said made me think!

    Your first point isn’t trivial at all – in fact it’s probably the most important one of all, which underpins everything else, and which will be even more important as you move to headship in due course. Headship is a fantastic job – I will always maintain it’s the best job in a school, though I know it isn’t what everyone wants. You need to have the right temperament for it (the skills can be developed over time, I always maintain). And it is TOUGH – you have to be resilient but you also need to be able to focus on your sense of moral purpose/core values. That’s what will sustain you in the most difficult times.

    Am sure you’ve read Ros McMullen’s latest post but will attach it here – it’s worth rereading periodically and thinking about its key messages, I think, especially on the route to headship: http://principalprivate.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/what-i-am-learning-about-maintaining-ethos/

    As for the future, you may well be a head by the time you’re 35 but be careful. You need to apply to lead a school which is right for you and where you can be happy and successful – not all schools are right for all leaders/aspiring leaders. You need to do the job because you want to do the job, to see headship as a route to making a difference. It’s a bit like politics in a way. I remember hearing a politician once say she was suspicious of people who want to be politicians. She felt it was better if someone wanted to make a change/make a difference, and they went into politics because they saw that as one way to do it. Think of headship that way too. Apply for a headship because you really want to do the job in THAT school at that time – it feels right to you/a good match and you feel ready.

    Sorry if I sound to be lecturing! Promise I just want to support (and challenge – positively!)

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