2 minute read …
This week I was fortunate to spend time in another school in the authority called Angus. I say this because it is a real honour to be invited into another school full of hard working professionals and children. I was out of my own school for three days before the return.
The first morning back I spoke to a wee girl even before the school had opened as I walked across the car park. She immediately asked where I’d been. She said she thought I must have had loads of meetings or something and was glad I was back. She then told me about moving up a level in gymnastics and spending time with her Dad. I thanked her for being kind and taking an interest in me. I told her I wasn’t surprised she had moved up in her gymnastics so quickly.
Earlier that morning I had cut my own lip shaving in the dark. Don’t ask. The amount of children who asked about my lip in the first hour of school was literally into double figures. So much so that before I spoke to children I’d say, “ Yes ok, I’ve cut my lip, I’m fine, I’m tough, let’s focus on you now…” that gave them permission to stop thinking about me and think of themselves…I kept this rapid fire bout of informal check ins going for the rest of the morning as I walked around the school to find out if everyone was ok.
I walked towards a group of children playing a game of “Guess Who?” with a teacher over lunchtime.
The boy said, “It’s got feathers,”
Ok so it’s got feathers, everyone looked puzzled.
Clue number two, “It’s got sharp claws,” at this point the five or so children and the teacher started to look like the penny had dropped…
…then the smallest boy piped up, “Feathers, sharp claws,” everyone turned nodding expectantly ….wait for it…..
Silence – complete silence. Not what anyone expected!
I later popped into a class to ask a child for something and a wee boy said, “ Hey Mr Murray, you want to watch that,” as he pointed to his own lip. “Look after yourself,” he then said. Brilliant.
Lots of different children stopped me across the rest of the two days to say things along the lines of …how proud they were of me doing my talk in front of so many people. I said, “Did I look nervous?” They all said, “Yes.” I said “Really?” One girl said, “You looked different, you didn’t have gel in your hair!” I laughed. A boy said, “You didn’t smile much!” and another said, he thought I was trying to be serious.
The last one said he found my speech by typing in “I’m trying to find Mr Murray talking to thousands of people,” Google search is something else isn’t it.
It was nice to think children and families were watching my talk regardless of my hair style or performance.
As I walked down the stairs tonight to leave, Anne who cleans the downstairs of the school, stopped me and said, “I’m glad you are back and I missed you.” What a nice thing to say I thought.
It is one thing to think it but a very different thing to then say it….and that’s what we all want really isn’t it?
We all want to work in an environment where no matter how tough things can get…and they can…we still remember it’s about people.
Our local authority has a mantra..a hashtag – Great people, great place….and you know what? – having spent a week between another school and my own they are so right.!
Great people with the right permission make great places.
Great people and great places make people think of others first ……..and sometimes flowers,
even if the answer was actually ………….an eagle ; )
Have a great weekend everyone.