Questions about entering Administration...

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Lastname_Z
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 12:17 pm

Questions about entering Administration...

Post by Lastname_Z »

I have a small question about entering administration. I guess to make this question easy to answer, I'd like to say a little about my goals.

- I plan on teaching for about 6 to 10 years total (so far my teaching has been all international and it most likely will remain that way). I've been teaching for 3 years now.
- After that I'd like to move into an administrative position (e.g. Vice Principal) and move up the ranks through admin.

My three main reasons for this are:
- Educational Leadership always interests me. I love having pedagogical conversations with my colleagues, especially my current Principal who is very receptive to teachers' ideas, about how best to make the school a great place to be for teachers and students alike. I enjoy hearing about the behind the scenes activities of schools a lot.
- I think after 10 years of teaching I'll have been as good at teaching as I can be. I really don't think a 20 year teacher can contribute as much to the classroom as someone who has taught 10 years.
- I want to think about my future in terms of money and going into administration does mean I can make more money than I would as a teacher.

My question is: What is the best way to enter administration?

I'm currently at a third-tier school and enjoying myself (there are benefits to life in third-tier schools that may not be found in the higher level), but I eventually want to move to higher-tier schools.

If I have the opportunity to move into administration at a tier 3 school, should I take it? Or does that leave me stuck in administration in third-tier schools? (I've heard of VPs going back to teaching in 2nd tier schools after being administrators in the 3rd tier. Also, some administrators in 3rd tier schools have only been teachers for about 3 years). Or should I work until I get to a higher-tier school and enter administration at that stage?

Any experience with this would be greatly appreciated.

Nomads
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:08 pm

Re: Questions about entering Administration...

Post by Nomads »

Z,

Take the job. The experience is invaluable and will set you apart. When you go for your next admin position, having had experience will put you ahead of teachers from tier 1and 2 schools who want to break into admin.

wrldtrvlr123
Posts: 1166
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:59 am
Location: Japan

Re: Questions about entering Administration...

Post by wrldtrvlr123 »

I don't think there is really a right or wrong answer. Taking an admin position in a 3rd tier school is most likely going to be much easier to get then one in a higher tier school so that is an advantage. Some better schools/directors might look down their noses a bit at your experience there (depending on the school/location) but others will consider it just paying your dues. Call it almost a wash.

In general the better schools seem to prefer/value experience that most closely matches their own learning/teaching environment. It's like a catch-22: Getting hired in an upper tier school is easier if you are in/coming from a higher tier school. So, your plan might involve moving up to a higher tier school for a few years as a teacher and then making a move to admin. Within the same school if you can get it, to another upper level school if you have made some connections or your admin can help facilitate it or back down to a 3rd tier school, but already having some upper school experience on your CV and the personal connections that go along with that.

alexout
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Questions about entering Administration...

Post by alexout »

Normally I would say to take the job in the third tier school and get started in admin, except for this comment you made:

"I really don't think a 20 year teacher can contribute as much to the classroom as someone who has taught 10 years."

Wow. You're not ready. You need a lot more experience teaching if you make that kind of comment. Maybe it's a reflection of the experience you've had and the people you've worked with. Maybe you've had bad luck with your colleagues. You haven't been at this for very long. Try teaching in tier 1 schools and having those pedagogical conversations with teachers who have more experience than you do - teaching all kinds of kids, living through all kinds of experiences, and raising children of their own. You might learn something. Maybe then you can become an administrator, whose job is to understand and support teachers, not write them off based on having too much experience in the classroom.

Lastname_Z
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 12:17 pm

Re: Questions about entering Administration...

Post by Lastname_Z »

alexout wrote:
> Normally I would say to take the job in the third tier school and get
> started in admin, except for this comment you made:
>
> "I really don't think a 20 year teacher can contribute as much to the
> classroom as someone who has taught 10 years."
>
> Wow. You're not ready. You need a lot more experience teaching if you make
> that kind of comment. Maybe it's a reflection of the experience you've had
> and the people you've worked with. Maybe you've had bad luck with your
> colleagues. You haven't been at this for very long. Try teaching in tier 1
> schools and having those pedagogical conversations with teachers who have
> more experience than you do - teaching all kinds of kids, living through
> all kinds of experiences, and raising children of their own. You might
> learn something. Maybe then you can become an administrator, whose job is
> to understand and support teachers, not write them off based on having too
> much experience in the classroom.

Sorry if this came off as arrogant or offensive. I didn't mean for it to seem like that. I'm not saying 20-year teachers should be written off. I'm saying that a teacher who has 10 years of experience is just as valuable (in my mind) as a teacher of 20 years. I mean to say that they are both equally good (that the extra 10 years of experience doesn't make the 20-year teacher that much better).

You are probably right, however, and I need to spend more time teaching before I make that kind of judgment. I'm sure after 6-10 years of teaching (and life in general) I'll look back on my comments and re-evaluate my opinions/thoughts. After all I'm only in my 20s.

global_nomad
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:12 pm

Re: Questions about entering Administration...

Post by global_nomad »

alexout wrote:
>
> "I really don't think a 20 year teacher can contribute as much to the
> classroom as someone who has taught 10 years."
>
> Wow. You're not ready. You need a lot more experience teaching if you make
> that kind of comment. Maybe it's a reflection of the experience you've had
> and the people you've worked with. Maybe you've had bad luck with your
> colleagues. You haven't been at this for very long. Try teaching in tier 1
> schools and having those pedagogical conversations with teachers who have
> more experience than you do - teaching all kinds of kids, living through
> all kinds of experiences, and raising children of their own. You might
> learn something. Maybe then you can become an administrator, whose job is
> to understand and support teachers, not write them off based on having too
> much experience in the classroom.

Yes, agree with Alexout that this is a naive statement. From my experience, in general, teachers with more experience are better overall teachers than those with less (everything else being equal). Besides, the most effective teachers are always learning and bringing new skills and approaches into the classroom. You said you are working at a Tier 3 school, so perhaps the veteran teachers there aren't as skilled, as presumably if they were better teachers, they would be at better schools (while also acknowledging that a minority of veteran teachers prefer Tier 3s for better work/life balance, less pressure, etc.). My guess is that when you get to the better schools and you'll see some fantastic veteran teachers (some that might even teach you a thing or 2).

Now to your question- Given your goals, take the Tier 3 Admin job for sure. I've worked primarily in Tier 1 schools and many teachers with whom I have worked and who eventually transitioned in admin. left Tier 1 schools for an admin. positions at Tier 2 or 3 schools. It's not unusual at all to start in admin at a poor quality school and move your way up.

joe30
Posts: 230
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:10 am

Re: Questions about entering Administration...

Post by joe30 »

I'd take the admin job at the tier 3, simply because the vast majority of people have a dream of being admin of a tier 1 school, while very very few will ever get to realise that dream.

If you work your way up to be a teacher at a tier 1, when your VP retires or leaves there's going to be hundreds of people going for that job. No guarantee you're getting it. In fact, you're probably not.

chilagringa
Posts: 338
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: Questions about entering Administration...

Post by chilagringa »

Yeah, that's some really bizarre ageism. Of course people get better as they get more experience, assuming they actually care about their job. If your statement is correct, I might as well keel over and die at 40, which will be when I have ten years of experience.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9565
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

There are 3 general avenues into leadership:
1) Grow In
2) Work In
3) Edge In

Grow in means you start at an IS as an IT, you work well with leadership, parents and ownership, and then when their is an opening you get the job because ownership trusts you and leadership and parents like you. This pathway is faster at lower tier ISs, where there is a lot of turnover and longevity often means your only one of the few staff to renew.

Work in means you get a M.Ed in Ed.Ld, you add a credential, you build some leadership or management experience and you work your way up into leadership. This may and often requires some work in DE. This is the pathway that accounts for the majority of leadership. Candidates were leadership in DE, and they were hired as leadership in IE.

Edge in means you make friends and build a network, maybe you marry into, but someone in ownership likes you and gives you the job, or someone in leadership helps you get into the job. This is the least common path into leadership.

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