On Saturday, I attended the second annual Primary Rocks Live event at Medlock Primary School in Britain's greatest city. Actually, I am privileged enough to be part of the organising team. As a result, my experience started on Friday afternoon. This involved a few hours setting up 200+ chairs, shifting thousands of musical instruments and being told what to do by the legendary Sophie Merrill. The event itself from us in the organising team felt like a roaring success. This may seem arrogant but I attribute that success in the most part to the people that came to learn, to speak and to network. Us organisers merely provided the platform.
For many reasons that I won't bore you with, teaching has become a very challenging job to be in at the moment. In the past, it was challenging but in more positive ways. If teaching were a football match, sometimes it can feel that you are playing for the team that is 3-0 down with only five minutes to go and desperately trying to find a way to claw yourself back to a respectable draw.
So, at 9.30am on Saturday 19th March, we were 3-0 with five minutes to go. Then Gaz Needle stepped up and delivered his battle-cry. This definitely rallied the players and we were all suddenly up for the fight.
Next, was Paul Dix who smashed one into the top corner with his wonderful presentation about how to aim for adult consistency when tackling behaviour. 3-1 Things were looking up, there was a chance we could do it!
Up stepped the first round of speakers in their workshops. The corridors emptied at lightning speed as people dashed to make it to their first choice of workshop. All the rooms were crammed full of eager people soaking up the ideas. 3-2
In the afternoon, after a hearty lunch (yes, I used my access to the kitchen to snaffle an extra muffin), the workshops began again. Jungles were built. Ofsted's National Director arrived and was led to his room by a barely comprehensible me, trying to make small-talk. Gaz Had sent me with him as his tech support. Yet it was he who found the button to turn the Smart board on! I rapidly retreated, mumbling something about there being muffins and ice-cream downstairs. Another great round of workshops rounded off with a brilliant keynote by Michael Tidd about marking and feedback. 3-3
After Rob Smith had closed the day, there was a rapid clear-up session (much quicker than putting it all out on Friday) due to all the people that stayed and helped. Then we headed for the pub. This was where we started to network, New friendships were made. Old ones re-ignited. Positivity was everywhere. Like an extra-time header at the far post. 3-4, game won. The spark was back. Thanks to everyone that came, see you next year.