Sensational September

As we move into October, I’m looking back on the first month of term with a smile on my face as I realise it’s been a successful month.

September started with me taking up a new role. I made the move from SBM in a smallish primary school (275 on roll) to Business Director in a large secondary school (1985 on roll). I was petrified but determined to just go for it. In the lead up to my first day I wobbled many times but had great moral support from family, friends and of course the wonderful SBM Twitter community.

Day 1 came, I introduced myself to 250 staff in a lecture theatre whilst standing under a spotlight. Public speaking is not my forte but I took a deep breath and got on with it. A few shaky minutes later and it was all over. Priorities for the year presented and everyone quickly turned their focus onto the next person to speak. It really wasn’t that bad. Maybe I can do this after all, I thought.

Throughout the first few weeks I often thought about a twitter colleague, @accidentalSBM, who moved to secondary earlier in the year. She often posts “I love it” about her new role and I started to understand why. I could see myself being challenged in a way I wasn’t in my previous role. The biggest challenge to come for me will be prising my fingers off the day to day operational stuff and getting on with being strategic. I’m taking baby steps but I know I will get there.

As September plodded on I found myself inspired by twitter again and this brought me to launching @SBMMentors. Through the use of this twitter handle I matched up 15-20 SBMs with other SBMs offering to mentor them. As luck would have it I managed to bag one for myself too. I’ve had mixed feedback – some mentor pairings have yet to really get off the ground whereas others have made contact and even visited each other’s schools. It’s great to be part of something that contributes to the development of SBMs. I am a firm believer in mentoring and think it’s extremely beneficial for both parties involved.

As the end of the month ushered in I felt proud of myself for producing a number of reports ready to present at my first Finance committee in early October. I’d pushed those doubts aside and taken the bull by the horns. I’m continuing to face my fears head on.

The highlight of the month was the @SBLConnect event which took place in London on the last Saturday of the month. It was lovely to meet up with other SBMs and just have a chat. We all have the same experiences and it’s great to be able to share them (with a cheeky cocktail in hand). Long may these @SBLConnect events continue. We need a balance in our lives.

So here we are, beginning of October, and I can truthfully say that September was sensational and now I’m looking forward to an Outstanding October. Not least because it will see me crossing the Atlantic to attend the Association of School Business Officials annual conference in the States. I can’t wait to update you all on how that goes. Watch this space!

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