How can you be a headteacher if you don’t teach?

Verstehen – to understand. Headteacher Neil Renton is about to teach his first lesson for more than four years. Writing the night before, he considers why it is helpful for the headteacher to keep a foot in the classroom
Image: Adobe Stock

My friend’s son said to me: “How can you be a headteacher if you don’t teach? What do you teach? Come on, surely you must teach? The clue is in the title, headteacher.

Awkward and guilt-inducing, it gave me the feeling of not doing something that I thought and knew I should.

The barber hit the same nerve when he asked: “So, do you still teach?”

Why do I feel such guilt as a headteacher? Leaders who run railways surely don’t drive the 7:30am train from King’s Cross to York once a week? Do they? Should they?

Tomorrow, that guilt-inducing feeling will be no more. Buckle up, tomorrow I will teach a lesson for the first time since just before the pandemic – a hiatus of more than four years.

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