Fire in my belly #PledgeForChange20

by Caroline Doolan  @caroline_doolan

I’ve been in my current school for almost 4 years and I’ve absolutely loved it. It made me grow as a leader. And as a person. In my previous school I was Head of English in a Secondary
school in Luton and let’s just say it was time for me to move on. When I saw an advert for Head of English in a school in London back in 2016 I jumped at the chance and decided to put into practice what I had learned and be an even better leader. 

The only problem was it meant a very big commute –2 hours each way, in fact (Bedford to Beckenham Hill). Yes, that’s 4 hours of travelling. Every day. However, I knew if I got it right it would be a very large stepping stone to big and better things.

It didn’t disappoint: within 6 months I was an Assistant Head. I had established myself with the students and staff and I have to say I’ve never been happier in a school. I’ve had whole school teaching and learning responsibilities and raising standards at KS3. The learning curve has been steep but I have learned from mistakes and have risen to challenges.I was also heavily involved with #WomenEd, becoming a London Regional Leader and organising events and also delivering workshops. I was coached by the amazing @rondelle10_b who believed in me and helped me set realistic goals. It was all good.

So, what’s changed? Why do I need to be #10%braver in 2020?

Well, I’ve decided that after 4 years the commute is too much. Due to the tiredness, I feel as though I have lost some of that fire in my belly that made me push my ambition forward. Almost 4 years of a 4:45am alarm does that to you. So, in December 2019 I took the difficult decision to accept a new job in Luton. It’s not exactly the role I wanted –Whole School Literacy Lead –but at the interview I really liked the Headteacher and her vision for the school. She said she could see potential and really liked my ambition. Importantly, it means that my commute is cut by over half. And, more than that, it means I now have time to become involved with #WomenEd again. The thought of making a connection with inspiring women and perhaps even inspiring some on the way has given me back some of the fire in my belly. I pledge to get actively involved with @WomenEdEastern and be #10%braver in my new role.

2020 will be my year.

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