One year on- @ASTSupportaali

One year on:

Tomorrow, 12.30pm will mark the end of my first year as an Assistant
Head Teacher.

Was it what I expected? Am I glad I moved into the role so ‘early’ in my
teaching career? Do I miss my ‘old’ school?

I am still learning the answers to all of these questions!


Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch



Image from Etsy

I think the biggest ‘thing’ I am finishing the school year with, aside
from sheer exhaustion like thousands of teachers countrywide, is knowing
that leadership is a skill that needs to be honed. I am
not the best teacher I can be yet. Therefore, I do not really know why I
thought I would just become an amazing leader instantly (I did just
think I would be awesome right away!)

The reflections I have written on this blog have most definitely helped
me in aligning my journey – ensuring I tell myself to jog, not sprint!



My nature, personality and make up forces me (!) to command the very
best in all I do. So, whenever I cause a blip, a slip up or a failure on
my part, I literally become mortified. I am gutted I was not better. I
feel as if I should have known.

I am not sure why I am so hard on myself as a leader. As a teacher, I am
happy to think ‘OK, I can do better. I will do better’.

BUT I hate letting people down, I hate having the feeling of people
being disappointed in me.



The real challenge for me is finding the balance between being friendly
and being too friendly. I like to have a laugh, a joke, a bit of
‘banter.’ The problem isn’t whether I should be doing this or not – it is more about what do others expect of me as a leader in terms of ‘showing’ my own personality?

I can’t control whether others misconstrue something that is out of
context. I can’t control whether others feel I should joke with them
more, less or not at all.  So, I think the best thing for
me to do is not be too friendly to anybody. I started the year having
lunch with my large team daily, going to the pub with them, playing
Friday footy… I have cut all these things down now. I have not gone to
the opposite side of spectrum but I am more balanced now.  I have established more professional boundaries / an appropriate distance.

When leading a team of around 40 individuals it is difficult to maintain
a parental like approach (unconditional love to one and all!)  This is
something I will be better at next year!  I will work on removing the
feeling of wanting to be liked. I would rather be liked based on my
decisions and leadership, rather than my jokes and personality – the ideal would be a mixture of both!



I have been busy on Twitter setting up #TwitterCoaching
<>  and
ensuring that people are paired up with people they can communicate
with. This has been a great success thanks to my good friend
@Danwilliams1984 <> . However, I have
found that without having my Twitter Coaches (thank you Mary Myatt
<> , Kathleen Sorrell
<>  and Jill Berry
<>  to name a few), at times I would
have been really lost at sea.

My school went through some really turbulent times with the Head becoming seriously unwell, members of SLT leaving and others being promoted /
moved to our MAT- primary school and so on.   Therefore, there are times I have been left to my own devices.  This has been fine. However, I can also see the benefits in having somebody ask me if I am ‘OK’/ needed some advice / coaching me to deal with certain situations… Nevertheless, Twitter, filled that void.

My ‘ego’ has sometimes stopped me from asking for help.  I thrive
reassurance, I yearn approval of my seniors. I value acknowledgement. As
a result of this, I aim to ensure I provide enough of this to my staff.


Oh, I can’t forget I did have access to Sir Tim Brighouse who mentored
me more than a few times throughout the year and for this I sincerely thank him!

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 19.58.13

Lots to learn:

I taught GCSE English to a small group of
high level SEN students in Year 11. This caused uproar on twitter, with
people arguing that one could never be a good teacher of English as if
they do not have an English degree. The results will be out soon and I
am looking forward to them! I have also taught GCSE RE to two
large Year 10 classes. I have always wanted to teach RE so was
pleased to be given a chance!  I have restructured my whole
department and taken on the lead for Pupil Premium
(meaning I am now responsible for a massive budget!)

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 19.59.27

I am proud of my achievements. I am really happy with the developments of my area. However, they are not where I want them to be. I want them to be as close to perfect as is natural.


The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born. —Warren Bennis


Importantly, I am aware of where I need to improve / what I need to do
better. After receiving feedback from my team, I was
advised to use this to tell my team how it will move US
forward and not just me! This is exactly what I intend to do, not focus on
myself but how being a better leader will benefit the team and

I will move myself, my team and my school forward.  This will be to benefit each
and every single student we serve.

(I must also read my posts written here too, I must not forget the
reflections I have made.)


#Nurture1314 Review

  1. Complete my National Award for SEN and Masters- ONE ASSIGNMENT LEFT AND MY FOLDER TO HAND IN, ALL ON TRACK!
  2. Read more- I really need to read the stacks of educational books I have purchased- 6 WEEKS HOLIDAYS TO CARRY THIS OUT!
  3. Have a child!!- 6 WEEKS HOLIDAYS TO SORT THIS OUT! 😉
  4. Push through the idea @Danwilliams1984 and I have- WE LAUNCHED @SESSIONBUILDER- ANOTHER VERSION DUE OUT SOON!
  5. Get in shape! Workouts/diet plans the lot!- I THINK I HAVE LOST WEIGHT…!
  6. Go to more ‘big name’ events- like Northern Rocks/Bett etc an be more sociable!- BEEN TO BETT, MISSED NORTHERN ROCKS, ALL PEDAGOO EVENTS, BUT HOPING TO GET TO TLT14!
  7. Develop my teaching of GCSE English- learn like an NQT- Develop my personal writing skills- STILL NEED TO PRACTICE AND LEARN.
  8. Get involved in more external CPD- I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS ALOT! LOVING IT.
  9. Travel more and visit more schools- HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO BE DOING THIS.
  11. Be a better son/uncle/brother- see my mom/dad more- Be a better friend… Be a better Fiance…- STILL TRYING!
  12. Make my house my home- NEARLY THERE!!
  13. Learn a language on the drive to and from work- STILL ON THIS, BUT HAVE STARTED!
  14. Nail Special Educational Needs- Quality First Teaching- make an impact in my new school- 1ST YEAR COMPLETE, NEXT YEAR TO EMBED AND THIRD YEAR TO PERFECT!

Not doing too bad?


STOP PRESS- My toolkit- will soon be turned into an APP!

Look out for Student Meet and KS5 Teach Meet in October and #TMOxford in December 2014!!

Also, for a SEN Teach Meet in association with Simon Knight!


Thanks all for your help!!



 Education is the mother of leadership. —Wendell Willkie





  1. I have been following you for a while and am reading this article with great interest – not just because our names are very similar! How long have you been teaching for? I am at a stage where I hope to be moving to an AHT position soon, I will be taking the first step by becoming an Associate School Leader next year. I would be interested to know the path your career took to where you are at now.

    look forward to hearing from you



      • Well this year I am working as an associate school leader as well as Head of Computing (which I’ve been doing for 5 years). My responsibilities are leading on Homework and Vocational Curriculum across the school. Its going well alhumdulillah. i do not get any extra free time but really enjoying it. I also do SLT duties which is good experience. How long have you been a AHT for?

  2. I Really like this Amjad. I’ve just completed my 2nd year in SLT and I’ve nodded to so much of the above. Reading this it’s clear that if you continue to have sky high expectations of yourself while reflecting on what you do I’m sure you’ll continue to learn and continue to be successful. Enjoy your summer and good luck in your 2nd year.

  3. I enjoyed this too, Amjad. It’s GOOD that you expect a great deal from yourself, and I like that you do give yourself credit for the progress you’ve made here, as well as describing things you’ve found tough. Frustration if you don’t get it right straight away can be used as a positive motivator to spur your reflection/learning/desire to do better. But it can also be debilitating if you don’t keep a grip on it, and you do need to know when to ask for help (send up a flare) and who to go to, so I’d have a good think about that over the summer.

    Hope you manage to have a good rest this holiday, too, so that you feel refreshed and re-energised when the autumn term starts.

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