Space to see things Clearly

Maths Teacher and Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Tess Tweeddale (@MrsTsixthform), tells the story of improving her KS5 subject and administrative knowledge whilst on maternity leave with her daughter, as well as interviewing for promotion into her current post. 

I had completed my 3 year, temporary role as a Deputy Head of House when I went on maternity leave, and was keen to up-skill myself so I could secure a new role after maternity leave. As an SLE for mathematics and pastoral, I used my maternity leave to keep on top of developments in these areas, particularly focussing on learning more about post-16 developments. My department were getting used to a new A Level specification, using new graphical calculators, and new textbooks with no worked solutions. I used my maternity time to make how-to videos for how to use the calculators, and sent in weekly worked solutions, enabling me to feel in touch with the new A Level, as well as helping my department. I interviewed for, and was successful in securing a new role as Deputy Director of Sixth Form, bringing my 4 month old baby to the interview with me, who was babysat by the Head’s PA! 

I used keeping in touch days to get on top of her my role, learning all about UCAS and Unifrog so that I could hit the ground running upon return. Knowing I was going to be returning to work full time on a promotion, I did love having space and time away during maternity leave, and going to lots of baby classes. The time away helped give me a clearer picture of what my career aspirations were, and I believe that I was 

successful in my appointment thanks to having more space and time to research and prepare.  

I am now Hertfordshire Regional Representative for The MTPT Project, and hope to be able to inspire others to use their maternity leave to further their careers. When I was pregnant, I didn’t know any other teachers who had returned full time and so wasn’t sure if it was possible. I am proud to have returned full time, which suits me and my family really well, and want other teachers to know it is possible should they want to!