Does the Head Teacher ever play on the equipment when no-one else is around? And what is in her secret drawer?
In Gwen's most hard hitting interview to date, she uncovers the mysteries of Head Teacher life in a British Primary School.
Tune in to find out all about what a Head Teacher does at work; you might be surprised!
I am a 7yr old. My name is Gwen Rose. I wanted to do this podcast so all the girls, boys and me could learn about what adults do all day. Visit our website for past episodes and to find out what's coming soon: https://gwengetstowork.com/
Produced by Enigma Records: https://enigmarecords.co.uk/
Have you have been asked,"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Gwen's Mum: 0:09
Gwen Gets To Work.
I like talking to people. And they like talking back to me. Well, that's what I think. One day I asked my mum, what, how do I know what I want to be when I grow up? My mum said, if I interview people about, like their jobs and things like that well, I will find out and like, all the people who are listening. Um, you will find out too, if you don't know. Let's get to work!
The time is 10. 30 AM. I had a long night slurping carton of juice after carton of juice trying to crack this case. I had a long list of questions prepared. Investigative journalism at its finest. I was about to question my beloved Head Teacher, and these are the events that followed...
Mrs Edwards: 1:28
Well done on your podcast. It's amazing, So proud. And I love that article in the Henley Standard.
Gwen's Mum: 1:36
You're loving it, aren't you?
Yeah, yeah. Break, Get chief.
Gwen's Mum: 1:42
She likes to get straight onto business!,
Mrs Edwards: 1:45
Well actually, at five to twelve or just before 12 o'clock I have to go on lunch duty. I know that seems a bit strange, but we've got 15 children in today, so I need to make sure I can run around the field after them.
So you're the first person to try out our new game, which is, um I'm gonna ask you, like, if you like food or water and then you have answer which one.
Mrs Edwards: 2:10
So, tea or coffee?
Mrs Edwards: 2:15
High heels or trainers?
Mrs Edwards: 2:18
Skirts or trousers?
Mrs Edwards: 2:23
Oo, skirts. Oo, that's a tough one.
Apples or oranges?
Mrs Edwards: 2:30
Pen or pencil?
Mrs Edwards: 0:00
P.E. or History?
Mrs Edwards: 2:38
Oh, no. Gwen. They're both my subjects. Oh, I'm gonna go for P.E.
Sports clothes or smart clothes?
Mrs Edwards: 2:51
Last question of the game: year one or year five?
Mrs Edwards: 2:59
Oh, golly. I'm gonna go year five.
Now onto the main questions that we normally ask, um, what did you want to be when you were little?
Mrs Edwards: 3:20
Oh, I had so many things. I think I mentioned to you in an email, that I wanted to be a stunt woman because I loved adventure. I loved sport. And then I realised that I was a bit afraid of heights and I couldn't ride a horse on, so I probably wasn't going to get any jobs. But actually, from when I was a teenager, I decided I wanted to be a P E teacher, so I was, I was pretty sure when I was a teenager that that I wanted to go into teaching.
if you could do anything else, now, what would you do?
Mrs Edwards: 3:58
Anything else now, um, I would love to do some acting.
Me too. 'Cause I quite like acting. What was your favourite subject when you were at school?
Mrs Edwards: 4:16
I had two, and you can probably guess what they are. They were P.E. and History.
Is it hard working in your office?
Mrs Edwards: 4:28
There's a lot to do. Is it hard work? It's hard work because there's always something to do, but it makes it, uh, it's never boring because I maybe chatting to staff, I may need to be outside working or teaching the children, so it's always varied, which makes it interesting.
Is it hard to remember all the different things you have to remember?
Mrs Edwards: 4:54
Yes, it is. It's funny, i'm really good at remembering some things like Children's names and then really not so good at remembering other things, So I need to make notes. And if I show you my diary, people laugh at me, but this is what my diary looks like with all the notes in it. There we go, err, and people think it's really messy, and why don't I use an online calendar? And I do. But I also like to make notes in my diary, and then I can tick them off and highlight them. That helps me remember.
Is there one day off the week that you would rather not be at school?
Mrs Edwards: 5:36
No, never. I love it every day.
Do you, err, this is quite a funny one, which probably no one would say yes to but, do you ever escape school?
Mrs Edwards: 5:50
Ha ha, do I ever escape school? Well, I leave school to go to different meetings, or I might leave school to do running club at lunch time with the children when we're not on lock down. But I do leave school to go, when lock down is not on, to go to meetings with other head teachers and with other people I need to meet. So I suppose in that sense, I sometimes escape school. I leave it freely.
What is your favourite part of the day?
Mrs Edwards: 6:17
Greeting the children first thing in the morning.
What is your favourite time of year at school?
Mrs Edwards: 6:26
Oh, that's a good one. I love Spring. I love all the seasons. But Spring's particularly special because, inside school and outside of school, there are so many changes and there's growth, and there's all the lovely birds that are tweeting and I think it's the celebration off new life, lovely new smells, everything about Spring.
And also lovely chocolate smells
Mrs Edwards: 6:53
Easter, he he.
Yeah! Which is your favourite celebration, like school fairs and sports days and Christmas shows?
Mrs Edwards: 7:04
Oh golly, they're all good in a different way. I love sports day because it's the summer, and it's such a celebration of such a large number of members of our community, all at one time. And the same thing is true of the Christmas shows, isn't it? And the fair. I just love it when our school community gets together.
And do you ever dress up as Santa? On the school Christmas fair?
Mrs Edwards: 7:29
I haven't dressed up as Santa, but I have dressed up in an elf suit before, and my Children think that's really funny. Because I'm the smallest one in the family and I have short hair, my children nicknamed me the little boy.
Do you ever get told off by your teachers? Like your staff?
Mrs Edwards: 8:05
Umm, not so much told off. I might be reminded of things if they think I've forgotten something but not really told off.
Who's in charge of you?
Mrs Edwards: 8:18
Oh, that's a good question. So I am answerable or accountable to a number of people. So we have a governing body that's chaired by the chair of governors. And they hold me to account. So we have targets for the school and targets for myself, um, and I meet with them regularly, and they make sure that all the wonderful things that we should be doing at school, that I'm making sure that they happen.
Do you ever tell people off like the teachers or parents, like at parents' evening?
Mrs Edwards: 8:53
I wouldn't say that it's telling off, but we do have different meetings to discuss things. I think meetings and discussions are really helpful and they need to be done in a really positive and constructive way.
Do you ever have to you jobs that are not head teacher job, like cutting the grass?
Mrs Edwards: 9:12
Regularly! Oh, golly, all the jobs: I've been on the roof before. Yes, I've cut the grass. I've had my hands down toilets with rubber gloves to take toilet rolls that might have fallen down there. Yes.
Please do not throw the brown towels into the toilet.
Mrs Edwards: 9:31
I've done weeding, i've blown the leaves off the playground. I put the bins out and I grit the tarmac. So yes. I do lots of things that you might think a head teacher wouldn't do.
What do you like doing when you are not at work?
Finally, I'm home. I can just relax. Oh, my God.
Mrs Edwards: 9:58
Oh, I love spending time with my family. I love taking my dog for a run. Yes, those two: family time and being with my dog,
Do you have to do work in the holidays?
Mrs Edwards: 10:12
Yes, and in the evenings.
Do you ever get sad at work?
Mrs Edwards: 10:17
Sad? Oo, that's a good question. Sometimes I get frustrated if I feel that some of the thing the things that we really want to do for the children in school can't happen. So, for example, if we don't think we've got enough money for something, umm, but we are very good at school at finding solutions. Creative solutions to problems.
Do your feet ever get tired?
Mrs Edwards: 10:47
Do my feet ever get tired? They were pretty tired after Sports Day when I'd been on my feet from about six o'clock in the morning. Yeah.
Do you eat school lunches?
Mrs Edwards: 11:04
Occasionally? I do like, particularly if something, if there is a meal that's new, Miss Kovach likes me to taste it so that I know what the children are talking about when they say, "oo, we like the taste of this, but we don't like the taste of that". So sometimes I suppose I'm a bit of a guinea pig without the whiskers.
Do you play with the equipment when there's no one else, like the playground equipment?
Mrs Edwards: 11:31
When you're at home do you try to teach your children by mistake?
Mrs Edwards: 11:40
Well, that's a really interesting question, Gwen, because in my first primary school, my three children were there. So when I first became a head teacher, my children were in year four, year two, and year one of the same school. So there were times I had to teach my own children. And what funny thing was, they had to call me Mrs Edwards when they were in school, but when their friends came home, they didn't call me Mrs Edwards. They call me [...] which is my name, and it just seemed to work really naturally.
Do you have a se.....ha haaaaa....
My mum has a stash of wine that she keeps to wind down in the evening. So now for the big question.
Um, do you have a secret stash of wine?
Mrs Edwards: 12:44
Hahaaa, not in my office I don't! Would you like me to show you my cupboards?
Ha ha, yeah.
Mrs Edwards: 12:55
Bu I do have a secret stash off Tangfastics. That's my guilty pleasure.
Can you tell me any of your favourite days you've had?
Mrs Edwards: 13:09
Oo, days in school?
Mrs Edwards: 13:11
Oh, golly. So many days. Gwen, I love being at school. It's really hard to pick one. The days I suppose that I find the most enjoyable on when I get to be with the children and we get to celebrate things, as I said before, as a whole community. Some of our water days, they're quite fun.
Mrs Edwards: 13:32
So I really enjoy those, I love going on trips. So things like our trip to the pantomime where we all walked across the bridge and had a chat and watch the show.
Except for the time when we walked there and we got soaked. The first time I went on the walk.
Mrs Edwards: 13:50
That was last December wasn't it?
I had to hide one of the paper thing of like, the Cinderella, whatever it's called. And I had to hide it behind my hood, because it could have got but soaked. Somehow I kept trying to put it in my hood and then lift it up and I kept fiddling with it and it kept coming out.
Mrs Edwards: 14:14
Yeah, it was a pretty wet day wasn't it, walking down.
Does your dog miss you when you're at work all day?
Mrs Edwards: 14:22
Well, my dog goes to work with my husband, most days. My husband's a landscape gardener, so our dog sits in a truck next to him and when he's working in different gardens, sometimes she's allowed to run around and chase rabbits and pheasants, so and then at weekends and when I'm not at school in the holiday, she follows me everywhere, and she likes to have a lot of attention.
Where's your favourite place to go on holidays?
Mrs Edwards: 14:53
Oh, that's an interesting one. So typically, Gwen, we go to the south of France because that's where my parents have lived for 35 years, so it's like home away from home, up in the mountains in the south of France. And it's beautiful. And I can go for runs up in the mountain and I can see baby wild boar called sanglier. Yep. So that's probably my favourite place.
My Grandma and Grandpa have a house in France.
Mrs Edwards: 15:23
Oo lovely. Where is it? Oh, gorgeous. And have you been there a number of times?
Yeah, well, its pretty, so, the last time I went, I was basically six. But it feels like a very long time ago. Before I was six. I probably went there when I was four. It feels like.
Mrs Edwards: 15:47
Oh, I bet you're looking forward to going again when lock down is over, in the future.
Yeah. Anyway, would you like to teach a different country? If so, which one?
Mrs Edwards: 15:59
Well, now that's an interesting question Gwen because I grew up in Singapore. And I went to an international school from the age of nine, away through to 18. And I have friends who live all over the world as a result. So yes, I actually, before my children were born. I was offered a job in Egypt.
Mrs Edwards: 16:23
I know! But at the time, it wasn't a very safe place for teachers to teach, so I didn't accept the job, and I hoped I would get a job in a different country. But then I had my children and everything changed.
I have, um this is one of, we've only got one more after this one, but it's quite a funny one, this one. Do you have a have secret chats with Hector?
Mrs Edwards: 16:49
First question, we gonna ask is, basically, "Who is Hector?" It's a great question actually.
Mrs Edwards: 16:54
All the time. Have you been looking at the tweets?
Mrs Edwards: 17:31
He's been getting up to all sorts of mischief. One time, Gwen, I took him back to my house, in the car and I forgot, and I left him in the boot and I got him out and I apologised to him. I couldn't believe I was apologising to a big, cuddly bear. So yes. Hector and I have formed a very strong bond and relationship over the past few months!
Do you miss the Children when they leave school?
Mrs Edwards: 17:38
Yes, I do. I miss them and I miss them dreadfully over the holidays. I missed them dreadfully now and can't wait to see everybody again. So, yes, I nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing everybody coming to school in the morning with big, beaming smiles on their faces.
Thank you very much.
Mrs Edwards: 17:58
Oh, you are welcome.
I miss you lots.
Mrs Edwards: 18:02
Oh, well, I feel so privileged to be able to see you today. And I'm hoping you've inspired me, to do an assembly. So I've got myself a YouTube account.
Mrs Edwards: 18:15
I know I'm going to try to do a live stream, and then we can sing together and hopefully we can find a way of people sending me messages when we do it so
I can't wait to come back to schoo.
Mrs Edwards: 18:25
Oo I can't wait either. I've got a plan, I'm working on a plan for us all to come back. But we're just waiting for a bit more advice from the government so we make sure we do it the right way.
Mrs Edwards: 18:40
You're welcome. So what are you going to do for the rest of the day?
Well, we're going to have a walk. Um, in a minute.
Mrs Edwards: 18:50
Gwen's Mum: 18:51
I'm gonna look what you did this morning aren't I, you've been busy!
I'm not sure what I'm gonna though!
Gwen's Mum: 18:59
Well, I'm sure you'll think of something.
Mrs Edwards: 19:02
Well, you are inspiring so many people and I've spoken to so many members of the school community who are amazed of what you're doing, which is fabulous, so you should be really proud of yourself.
Mrs Edwards: 19:14
Mrs Kennedy has loved listening to and watching your different podcasts. She's in school today. Shall I ask her to pop down and wave at you?
Mrs Edwards: 19:26
Okay, hold fire. Don't go anywhere.
[A few moments later....]
Mrs Kennedy: 19:34
Hi Gwen! You're in your school uniform! How's your Podcast going?
Mrs Kennedy: 19:45
Have you been interviewing Mrs Edwards?
Mrs Kennedy: 19:50
What if you found out?
Um, that she doesn't have a secret stash of wine.
Mrs Kennedy: 19:56
Ha ha, she might have a secret one of chocolate, though.
And I also found out that she also teached. Or is it ... yeah, that she teached a school before she teached this school.
Mrs Kennedy: 20:14
She did, didn't she? She's taught a few. Very exciting. Your podcast is amazing, Gwen. Such a lovely thing. My favourite episode was the interviewer episode.
Ha ha, because I was interviewing an interviewer!
Mrs Kennedy: 20:27
Exactly right. I loved it. I cannot wait. I love how I can get it on Spotify as well.
Mrs Kennedy: 20:40
Me too. I'm excited to come back to school.
Me too. I'm excited to come back to school.
Mrs Kennedy: 20:48
Yeah, I'm excited to have you back. Well keep doing what you're doing because you're doing a fantastic job. And well, done with all your work as well that I've been looking at.
Mrs Kennedy: 20:59
Mrs Kennedy: 21:00
I'll go get Mrs Edwards, bye!
[one minute, 37 seconds later]
Thank you very much. I'm very excited for the assembly.
Mrs Edwards: 21:15
Oh, good stuff. I'm excited as well. Mrs Kennedy just said that you made her day, her being able to see you. So thank you. I've so enjoyed our chat, and we'll let you know when the assembly is going to be on!
Mrs Edwards: 21:32
Alright, take care! Bye!
So it turns out my Head Teachers is a real stand up lady. No dirt to be found. Just someone who loves making children happy to learn. Until next time, Investigator Gwen signing off.
Gwen's Mum: 22:10
Make sure you don't miss next week's episode when Gwen interviews a doctor about what she does at work all day. Subscribe now and if you enjoyed today's episode, don't forget to leave a review.