Head Teacher’s Blog

I am having a Miss Jean Brodie moment this week and thinking about the nature of education. Of course all our children in Humbie and Saltoun are the crème de la crème, this goes without saying!
My thoughts have come from two sources-I read Don Ledingham’s blog on CfE and the qualities children will need to cope with our rapidly changing world. The other was conversations with staff about a project for next term and how it should be tackled. We started with a discussion about what kind of people we would wish the children to be when they leave school. After much head-scratching and soul-searching, we could not better Don’s list-namely- the four capacities (successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors-team players and leaders). We agreed with the notion of resilience and added creativity and enterprise.
We will always need to read, write and count- at least for the foreseeable future, but I would argue that it is no longer the case that a fistful of paper qualifications will necessarily guarantee success- or more importantly happiness- in life. I call this my “happy shepherd” theory. I would far rather an ex-pupil was a happy shepherd than a disgruntled brain surgeon. I see value in doing a job well and conscientiously, no matter what the perceived status of that occupation is. There is more dignity and merit in being a good waitress than a surly or ineffectual diplomat. I mean no disrespect to either of these professions. I came out of school with a half a dozen Highers- 5 of them A passes and fared miserably at University because of lack of preparedness for the system and lifestyle. However, because my years as a member and leader in the Girl Guides had taught me “stickability”- what we might now call resilience- I was able to stick at it and come out with the necessary qualifications to teach. Once in the profession, it was again the experience and training as a guide that helped me through the first few years of teaching. I place more value on the experiences and moral code I gained as a guide than I do on my exam passes. However, without those passes (and they were hard-won) I would not have been able to pursue my chosen career, so they have their place.
I have bored and probably irritated many colleagues with my notion that Robert Baden Powell could have written the Curriculum for Excellence in 1910. For more than 100 years the Guide and Scout programme has embodied the notions of all-round achievement, citizenship, service to the community, outdoor activities, working as a team, self-responsibility–sound familiar?
Since I write this at the weekend, I feel justified in mounting a hobby horse!
This has been rather rambling this week and the thoughts contained are personal opinions. I would be happy to debate any points, share opinions or hear contrary views.
Next week, I would like to talk more about the aforementioned project for next term, how we plan to tackle it and how you can help.
My mother used to call me Miss Jean Brodie at times- for reasons known only to her. I have therefore shied away from Cramond and golf!
Science Week next week-enjoy the homework,
Lindy Lynn

1 thought on “Head Teacher’s Blog

  1. Well said. Can I use this piece, with author royalities going to you of course, as part of a blog I’m writing for pedagoo.org? It highlights conversations being held at the ELT conference on Sat.

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