This is a brief post that I hope I will expand on later. This first semester has been the toughest of any semester in my 11 year career as a Head of Department. Conversely, it has been an exciting and rewarding semester as a teacher.
Early in the semester, accusations were made regarding my capability to lead a faculty. This resulted in a long running disagreement and quite a deal of stress. Essentially there was a disagreement between the organisational need to lead data and numbers versus my desire to lead people and relationships. I was extremely fortunate that my immediate staff were supportive of me. This situation has been resolved and my integrity is intact now, but it was not an enjoyable experience.
This was occurring whilst I was supporting my staff through the emotional strain of watching one of our own battle a terminal cancer, and another of our own battling a metastasising cancer. Their names will not be mentioned here. Unfortunately, we lost our friend and staff member who bravely and inspirationally battled the terminal cancer one week before the school holidays started. I have some guilt in my relationship with this staff member, despite all being forgiven and I believe a supportive friendship developed. This cannot erase the emotional strain of the event.
But they say there is a silver lining in every cloud, and this has resulted in new friendships. What is most significant is the impact this person has had on my life, and my work. She has changed how I lead, in particular how I relate to female staff. For that I thank her.
More to come, soon, I hope.