Feeling Like Myself Again

Sherish Osman (@sherish_o), Lead Teacher in English, mother to two boys and our West London Advocate  and member of our Diversity and Inclusion team explains how she used her maternity leave to improve her subject knowledge and pedagogy, structuring her CPD through our very own, flexible MTPT Project Accreditation.

January 2020: I remember the feeling of dread when I was told I would be having a c-section in February for baby number two, due to a low lying placenta. It wasn’t the fear of the surgery, but rather the fact that I wouldn’t be able to drive anywhere for 8 weeks until I healed. 8 weeks! How would I manage to stay home? How would I go and meet friends who were also on maternity? 

Little did I know that those measly 8 weeks, (which I would happily have taken!) would go on to become almost a whole year of being stuck at home. Not only was it difficult to entertain a baby, but the guilt of not being able to take him to sensory classes, baby massage sessions and play gyms like his older brother did, had torn me apart. The poor soul didn’t see much else than the four walls of this house.

And despite all of this, this maternity leave turned out to be more productive than my first, 4 years ago.

As soon as I started to feel like myself again, which was about 8 weeks after giving birth, I decided it was a good time to focus on my CPD. I first started with books by Jennifer Webb, to improve my subject knowledge. Then, as if by magic, she started online CPD sessions, in the evenings, which were perfect for me.m as I could focus on them when the boys had gone to bed. Naturally, this led to me ordering more books from Amazon, which also branched out into general pedagogy of teaching. 

I wasn’t doing very much ‘with’ the new knowledge, so I then started thinking about how I could pass on the knowledge I was gaining. I first started by running a session for NTLD Bucks, on returning to work from maternity. Around this time, I met online with my Line Manager, and we discussed KIT days, and I used

these to create videos for my colleagues on texts we were to teach, and other general teaching ideas, for which I got a positive response.

All of this learning I was doing at home led me to feel like I could work from home one day, and I approached my school with the proposal of offering me to work one day a week from home, which I successfully attained.

I am now back to work, and enjoying the new work life balance I currently have.