The Bond of Colleagues by Daniel Bull

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A short introduction. Dan and his colleagues have now created a great podcast, #morethanajob focusing on some of the latest educational topics. This is a refreshing broadcast because the hosts capture and field views from others immersed within the educational world. Here, Dan talks about the origins, significance and value of his partnership working. #morethanajob • A podcast on Anchor

In May 2017, myself and two random candidates received the phone call to offer us all a job as Assistant Headteacher. Never again in my career will 3 people be offered the same job, at the same time, work together in the same office and be tasked with building a new culture, ethos and pastoral system at a coasting school. 

When random people are thrown together the friendship becomes so important.

Now four years on, the bond and the friendship has become so strong and we know each other inside out, balance each other, support each other and hear each other in our most silent moments. This was a bond that was developed under immense scrutiny as some vocal stake holders baulked at the ‘new culture’ and we had to work to convince everyone of our vision and our goals. 

Myself aged 29 at the time, mixed with two colleagues 10 years and 13 years my senior built the perfect team and the perfect blend. We were challenged in so many ways, from so many angles but kept a clear focus at the heart of everything – what is the best thing for our students. This was easy to overlook sometimes when things blurred the vision, the outlook and the drive but we had our bond to always recalibrate on those most testing days.  

‘In all of our testing times the bond of friendship has made our jobs as senior leaders so much easier – celebrating successes and consoling moments of difficulty.’

My experience to date and the way to build this strong team is to respect each others strengths and weaknesses. See these as opportunities to learn, absorb, advise, guide, coach and listen. I have become a stronger leader by being reflective and adapting my professional behaviours to model that of my colleagues and vice versa.  

Never will we have a situation in our professional careers again like we did in May 2017 (unless we set up our own free school) and we already feel sad at just the notion of when one of us moves on in our careers. We have started to draft ideas for a book of our time together and all of the best moments – they are funny to us at least.

But for now, we have created our own podcast – 3 friends and educators discussing education in a balanced way because it is what we love.

Teaching is #morethanajob.

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