A day off

IMG_3927It could be argued that I made a mess of today.  I got an email yesterday asking urgently for any school governors who could be available in the morning to please let school know.  After checking my diary, admittedly a bit absent mindedly, I saw I was free and responded accordingly.  The result was an invitation to assist with the Headteacher’s appraisal.

When I realised I’d scheduled a meeting for a day off, I was a bit naffed off with myself, but then I started to think. For most people, being a community governor in a secular school is an offering of time, a commitment beyond their working hours. It is, in fact, a gift to the school community. I’ve always thought of it as a work thing, because I wouldn’t have been asked to stand if I wasn’t “The Rector”. For most people, all governor activities eat into their spare time – why should I be any different?

It could be argued that on a day off, I should be doing things which replenish energy rather than use it. And, oddly, that’s what happened. I have been on both ends of the appraisal process more times than I can count, and I’m an old hand at assessing whether objectives have been met or not, and in shaping new objectives which are stretching, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Yes, dear reader, I can do SMART objectives. And I have to admit that while it was not only interesting to be involved for a different sector, it was also highly amusing to watch the chap from Wiltshire LEA work out that the lady in a dog collar wasn’t quite as sweet as he perhaps expected. I found the whole thing enjoyable and fascinating, and walked away glad to have been involved.

After a lovely lunch elsewhere, I even sorted a tiny bit of the garden. No, not the weeds died-back wild flower meadow, the clear patch beyond them.  There will be a log store by the fence within a few days, and I’ll be able to get to it all winter!

3 responses to “A day off

  1. Appraisals were the bane of my Army life, both military and civilian. They kept moving the goal posts with a new format or revised guidance each year. When you’re personally reporting on 8 or 9 people, and are also a senior reporting officer for another 25 it becomes virtually a full time occupation a couple of times a years. Than when they make you a performance award manager on top of that, with responsibility for a wide range of people outside your chain of command, it becomes a nightmare (Civilian staff only in this respect).

    Being honest in appraisals can cause offence, so the choice of words need to be tactful and phrased constructively (encouragement not destruction), and the moral obligation is there to let people know when they’re not performing to their best, but only after a thorough interview to check that you have all of the facts.

    Fortunately I never had a report that I made challenged, although I challenged a few made on me by my superiors. I remember one CO recommending that I should go off and be a Recruitment Officer for the Regular Army, which would mean me retiring and work for less money? I’m not sure what he was on when he wrote it, but he was very miffed that I should challenge it – and in writing. His boss told him to change it as it was completely out of the question. Another CO who didn’t get on with me, actually wrote a report and sent it too his superiors, without discussing it with me or my seeing the content. When I was called for interview with the senior officer involved, he wasn’t happy with the CO, who got a flea in his ear and had to come to me in my office and offer an apology. He said that he thought that I was quite ‘bolshie’ and I said that if I didn’t stick up for myself, he wouldn’t.

    Oh the joys of appraisal. As for SMART objectives ,,,,,,

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