Mother of two and English teacher, Frances Ashton (@FKAEnglish) is currently on maternity leave following the birth of her second daughter. An Associate Senior Leader for T&L at her school, she outlines how she plans to use the coming months to continue developing her leadership skills.
Pregnancy and promotion happened almost simultaneously at the start of 2016 and I was equally excited about both. But I was nervous. The prospect of disappearing from school for 9 months when I’d only just secured the role left me feeling anxious that professionally I would be on pause whilst I was focusing on personal fulfilment.
A planner to the core, my first act was to draw up my suggestions for what I would do in my new role before I left, some materials and ideas to leave behind and a timeline for my return. I wanted my Head Teacher to know I was serious about returning in the same role and as effectively.
I’m seeing the next few months as a professional sabbatical and far from being fearful, I’m now emboldened by the possibilities. I’m reading for pleasure (what a luxury) and planning resources I could make as I go. I’ve joined the ~WomenEd network and look forward to blogging regularly as part of the MPTP Project family. I’m harnessing my ambitions and taking this opportunity to develop outside of all-consuming classroom teaching.
Life at school can feel like a treadmill at times and maternity leave is allowing me some perspective to focus on ‘me’: both professionally and personally.
*Frances wrote this case in 2017. Following her maternity leave, she held an Associate Assistant Head Teacher position for an academic year, and then in 2018 she successfully interviewed for a permanent Assistant Head Teacher position. She is now AHT of Teaching and Learning at her school.