On Saturday, after another poor showing in the staff quiz, my wife and I sat down and watched Yesterday. The film is fairly average (although the soundtrack is awesome) but we sat down, glass of wine in hand with one too many snacks on the table. In moments such as these, you can almost forget the situation we are all in.
I started teaching in April 2005 as a GTP. In September, 3 new staff joined the school and we undertook NQT training together. Over the next 3 months, working and communicating closely with each other, strong relationships started to build – one stronger than the rest.
My wife and I got together and continued working at the school for another 3 and half years together. During that time we had bought a house together and I had summoned up the courage to pop the question and must have caught her in a moment of weakness because she said yes.
For various reasons, including promotion, my wife left the school at the end of the fourth year and a year later, I started a new role in a new school. With both of us now being senior leaders, there were additional work related factors to consider. For both of us, it was hard to work out whether it was a blessing or a curse that we both worked in similar roles. The advantages were that we could talk to each other and offer support and even advice or strategies as we had that knowledge. The disadvantage was that we had a lot of shop to talk about after a day across two schools!
A few years later, a job came up at the school I was in and my wife applied. We were back working together again. A few years after that, I was appointed as a Headteacher and so we were back to separate cars again!
Headship brings its challenges and one of the most difficult is that if can be lonely. Ultimately, after all the talk, you have to make the decision, and people will come to you for answers. I have an amazing team around me who help immensely, but I know that it is my wife who is the one who sorts me out!
She listens when I need to rant, even if she doesn’t choose to say anything. She offers advice if I’m struggling and is able to read me so easily that she almost knows either what I need to hear or what I need to do. She tells me to be quiet or out the laptop away when she sees that things are starting to get to me.
The thing is, that although this is often about school (after all, we spend a lot of time there), the same applies for all things. If we’re are doing some DIY, planning a trip, writing the shopping list. In all of these things, knowing that I have the love from Mrs C gives me the strength I need. She is a constant for me, keeping me balanced and making sure that my work life balance is tipped in the favour of life (most of the time). She is an amazing mum, teacher and wife and I know that things will be alright because she is with me.