Saturday, 19 February 2011

New directions, new start

Photo credit - lusi
I found out on Thursday that I had been elected as a parent governor at school. It feels like an end, but really it is just the beginning of a new phase of my life. 

I hadn't really given being a governor much thought, other than I might find out more about it one day. Then, about a year ago, I had an online conversation with Garry from The Blog Up North. He asked me if I had ever considered becoming a school governor and when I said I didn't really know that much, he told me that he thought I'd make a good school governor. We chatted about the role and what a governor does and I thought it sounded interesting.

Weirdly, the very next day, the school newsletter mentioned there was a vacancy for a parent governor. It was like it was some kind of fate. When they sent out nomination forms, I filled it out, having to write six words about myself. You try; it's almost impossible if you want it to be coherent! I enlisted Garry's help with that bit and we eventually got something together.

When the ballot forms were sent home, reality bit. I looked at the other two candidates and just knew who would win. It wasn't going to be me. I just knew who people would vote for. I was right; the letter came home a day or so after the vote closed to say I hadn't been successful.

Not being successful made me realise that I did want to become a governor at some point, but I couldn't see how it was going to happen. Going through an election is hard work and being a Brit, I can't go round asking people to vote for me. I don't even know if that's allowed!

Fast forward to a few weeks back when they announced that there were two more vacancies for parent governors. I thought about it long and hard. Should I go for it again? How would it look to stand again? Was I standing against any of the existing governors? After thinking about it for a good few days, I decided I would probably never have a better chance, and dusted off my sixty words. I still managed to rehash them ten times before I was happy with it!

This time, there were again three candidates but with there being two vacancies, the chances of success were higher. One of the other candidates was an existing governor who I know reasonably well and is well known around school. Thank goodness everyone could vote for two people!

Thursday was a long wait. The vote closed at lunchtime and I expected a letter to inform me of the result that afternoon as school was closing for half term. Of course, they put the letter in Missy Woo's bag, not Monkey's like they usually do so for a while, I thought that I would have to wait until March to find out. But there it was.

So, I'm a governor now. Right now, it doesn't feel any different - apart from being thrilled that I was elected and that I made the right decision to go for it. Right now, I know very little about the work of a governor other than in general terms, and I know I have a lot to learn. I also know I can learn and that I will try to do my very best to do the job well and give back to the school. It might be sometime before I have a meeting and, being half term, there's not a lot going on anyway, so it doesn't feel that real either.

It is a new direction for me. It is the start of something new. It may not be a paid job, but it's an important one and I hope to put in as much as I get out of it. I'm quite looking forward to the challenge, because I like challenges. I hope I can rise to it.

Thanks for those of you that supported me over the week of the election and sent me congratulations and good wishes on Thursday. 

And finally, a huge thank you to Garry, for igniting the initial spark of interest within me about becoming a school governor, for being my cheerleader, for giving his time and advice freely and offering his support and belief in me. If I can be half as good a governor as you are, I'll be doing alright. I hope I can repay the faith you had in me by doing the job (and the school) justice. Thank you. 
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