This is brief post to thank the people around me and supporting from a distance, and to share with you some of the highlights of my 2017.
In February 2017 I released my first music EP ‘Progression’, a collection of music featuring hip hop and grime with a focus around positivity and development.
Mixtape Madness made it their mixtape of the week, and you can find out why here:
Promotion – Senior Leadership
In April I was promoted to the senior leadership team at work (Secondary school in Birmingham). My new role is seeing me work towards removing barriers for students that may hinder their progress. Coming from a background of social deprivation and going through school with undiagnosed ADHD, I have experienced some of these barriers first hand and am passionate about ensuring that they do not prevent the students I work with from achieving their potential.
By far the greatest thing that has happened in 2017, and in fact in my life was the birth of my son Xander Jay Bailey on 14th May 2017.
On May 20th, having slept very little in the week, I crept out whilst Xander and mommy slept to perform at TEDxAstonUniversity. This was a great event and it was a privilege to be involved. You can see me performing a track from Progression and a poem from Waiting at Bloomsbury Park here.
I have had the pleasure of performing a number of times this year, up and down the country, but the poetry performance that stands out from the others was opening the Local Government Association Conference at the start of July. Having been commissioned by the LGA to write a poem for the event I then took the stage at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre and performed to a crowd of 1300 people. A great experience all round.
Graduation – Masters in Education
On July 25th I walked the Symphony Hall stage, shook hands with Lenny Henry and received my Masters in Education, with a focus in Educational Leadership (Birmingham City University). This qualification was the culmination of three years of assignments and research which ended in a 20,000 word dissertation around teacher workload (thrilling, I know!).
Waiting at Bloomsbury Park
On July 31st, the day after my birthday I received word from publisher that the first run of my first book Waiting at Bloomsbury Park had arrived from the printers. On September 1st at Waterstones Birmingham a lot of amazing people came out to celebrate the launch of the short poetry collection, published by Big White Shed. If you haven’t bought your copy of the book yet, buy it here now to get it before Christmas.
National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership
Following 12 months of work, attending a number of development seminars, research, and running an impact project in school, I received confirmation that I had achieved my National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership (NPQSL) in September.
UpRising Birmingham Refugee and Asylum Seekers Workshop
I have run a number of different workshops this year, for a number of purposes and to a wide range of people. The one that stands out as the most rewarding was a session that I ran at British Red Cross in Birmingham for UpRising Birmingham. Following a session for UpRising in the summer as part of a youth development programme, I was asked to run a session on confidence and feature to a group of unaccompanied minors (16-24 year olds) with Asylum Seeker or Refugee status, in October. The work with these people and the spirit they showed will stay with me long after this year is done.
On October 11th I was blessed to be able stand alongside Suriya Aisha and host TEDxYouth@Brum at Birmingham Hippodrome with hundreds of young people in attendance. The day was magical, and you can get an idea of why here.
The Grind Live
On November 30th I took to the stage supporting my brother P Stand at the Hare and Hounds Kings Heath. With the crowd in triple figures and some of the regions stand out artists taking the stage, it was real blessing to be able to take the share and perform selected tracks from the Progression EP. If you missed it, you missed out!
Behind the Scenes
What I can’t tell you about yet, is all of the things that happened in 2017 that were groundwork for 2018 and 2019 projects. All I can tell you is this… despite the wide array of achievements in 2017, I have every intention of making the next two bigger and better. Stay with me.