A new start

So, I’m delighted to announce that I will be beginning the next chapter of my teaching career this January as Assistant headteacher for teaching and learning at the British International School of Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Before talking about my new role, let me say a few words about my last 2 and a half years living and working in Spain at the O Castro British School.

In December 2015, I left teaching after 8 years – I thought it would be permanent. I left for a myriad of reasons, in part detailed here (strangely, it was this blog which led me to become a TES columnist, writing more than 100 blogs since!). Through working in my current school, I’ve realised there is another way – both within a school but also for the systems that run around it. I’ve felt autonomous and independent during my two years here, none of that excessive accountability in the UK. My workload has been transformed. Making the journey to Spain (picture below) in August 2016 was one of the best decisions i've made, and i'm so blessed to have had the opportunity to do it.

A few things about my time at O Castro. First off, I’d like to thank the students at O Castro. From the first day, they were smiley, inquisitive and incredibly polite, and not just for show! Every single day, no fail – humble, happy and gifted. I’m going to miss them all massively as I move on. Its been a pleasure and a privilege to teach them – they’ll go onto great things – think presidents and ambassadors. I've loved teaching all the students - they really are inspirational. Its a blessing to have spent time with them.

Second, I’d like to thank the staff and particularly the Head of Secondary, Mr Duncan Hill. Its been wonderful working in such a cohesive environment where everyone gets on and works well together. My room is incredible – what a view!

I’m going to miss the city of Vigo, it’s an amazing place – the beaches, the weather, the nightlife. I could go on. I'll be back to visit Vigo regularly, its a hidden gem. I was delighted to feature in Faro De Vigo, the Galician newspaper earlier this year with a few of my students.

So, my new job! I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity for me and I truly believe this is it. I visited Ljubylana in the summer and fell in love with the city.

When this particular job came up, I applied straight away. The British School of Ljubylana has an undoubted "family feel" to it, and this appealed to me straight away. It's a small and closely knit community with big ambitions. I was incredibly impressed with the energy and passion of Mr Paul Walton, the headteacher, and the friendly warmth of the other staff I met too. I've heard incredible things about the students and can't wait to meet them all - if you visit the schools Facebook page, it really does give you a snapshot of the great work going on there. I wasn't just applying for jobs left, right and centre - this place and this school was the one. My new role will be focusing on teaching and learning across secondary. I can't wait to get started! Thanks to my twitter network for teaching me so much these last few years too - what an amazing group.

So, I’ll be moving over Christmas, after a little trip to New York 😉 It could be an interesting few months ahead.

Cheers all!

Tom

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