The Headteacher’s Perspective

I love hearing about the reasons that led people to become teachers and what motivates them to keep going when challenges arise.

No matter how long someone has been teaching, we can listen to their story and learn from their experiences.

Now, the sad news is, this interview took place last year.

But, 2020 proved to be a year of frustrations regarding my plans for this blog and the Connect series did not develop as I had hoped.

So, as I move into a season of reconnecting with my plans, I had to decide whether or not to publish this interview.

In the end, it was an easy decision because of the wisdom it contains.

Today’s interview is with Sabrina Reilly who shares her journey to headship.

Tell me a bit about your self.

I moved to London, from Ireland, over eight years ago with the expectation of staying for one year.

However due to many opportunities coming both mine and my husband’s way – here we are eight years later.

My initial aim was to gain experience teaching in a variety of settings.

However on my third day in London I taught a day in my current school and have never left.

I am a now a very new Headteacher in the school where I began my teaching career. 

I have a real passion for education and whole-heartedly believe that all children should reach their full potential regardless of their starting points.

What was your ‘Ah-ha’ moment that made you choose teaching?

My family would say that I was always born to be a teacher.

I loved ‘teaching’ my younger cousins. 

Growing up, Irish Dancing was a big part of my life and teaching younger peers gave me such satisfaction.

I love children; I love their imagination and creativity.

I love being able to make a difference.

What is one thing about teaching that you wished you knew from the beginning?

That perfection doesn’t exist and that doing your absolute best is enough!

What has been your greatest challenge and your greatest success?

My greatest challenge has been balancing family commitments with working life.

As a new senior leader, I made many sacrifices when it came to spending time with family.

Delegation wasn’t a strength of mine.

However, now I feel that my greatest success is striking the balance between work and family commitments and knowing that through delegating certain tasks I am in actual fact developing someone else.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Trust your instincts and allow your own style to develop.

You will hear many new strategies and ideas as you begin your teaching career but you will know what works for you and your children. 

Know that the most important thing you can do is look after yourself; have work cut-off times and stick to them. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – that can be one of the bravest things that you can do.

Words of wisdom

This past year has been gruelling and Sabrina’s advice is worth considering.

  1. Self-care is key so finding time to do so is essential.
  2. Have work cut-off times and STICK TO THEM.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

And finally, remember that perfection doesn’t exist and that doing your absolute best is enough!

Let’s connect on Linkedin. Just click the link and tell me your story


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