Move to admin?

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round_the_world
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:34 am

Move to admin?

Post by round_the_world »

I am interested in the thoughts of teachers who have made the move to leadership (junior or senior admin), or are currently trying to move into leadership. What made you want to become an admin? What are the pros/cons being in an admin role? I realise there is usually a pay increase, but moving up a tier or to a new location can bring a nice pay increase as well.

shadowjack
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Move to admin?

Post by shadowjack »

Like many others, I suppose, the notion that I could help others and do what's right for students. As well, the idea that I could be better than those who came before. Finally, an opportunity to grow my experience and abilities in new areas .

The pros are that you CAN make a difference for more people than as a teacher. You can model for others what an effective leader is like, and work to empower and grow ability within your school community at all levels. If moving up at the same school, the ability to demand teachers improve (not insanely mind you), and they know that YOU have done it and you know what you are talking about; that you aren't asking them to do something you never did.

The cons are that you are set apart from others and it becomes harder to have an out-of-work connection. Things you might talk about are less, not being on the 'front lines' the way your former teaching colleagues or new staff are. At the same time, being told, "Ah, but you say that because you're admin!" when no, you said that before you went into admin.

Going into a new school, sometimes the "them against you" where they view you as an outside until you become known - or where you have replaced a popular admin at a school with low turnover, the constant unspoken comparisons and judgements.

Lastly, losing the teaching contact with students. The 'a-ha!' moments and the little things that bind you and them together in a learning community. It's an adjustment and you interact with them/are perceived by them on a different level, similar to your teaching staff.

I think people who go into admin thinking it is 'easier' or 'for the money' are pretty foolish because in many cases you are in a fishbowl and it is hard to hide your competence or lack thereof. And it is a lot of work if you want to do it right!

fine dude
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm

Re: Move to admin?

Post by fine dude »

"Even if a job title impresses other people, it's the wrong choice if the day-to-day work depresses you.

In career decisions, beware of being seduced by status.

Pursue a job where you can express your values and a place where people share those values."

- Adam Grant

Thames Pirate
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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:06 am

Re: Move to admin?

Post by Thames Pirate »

If you want to test the waters, try something in-between like CAS coordinator, IB coordinator, grade level or team leader, or HOD. You can get a taste for some of the administrative tasks and the required mindset while staying primarily in the classroom. You can see if you are capable of leading others, enjoy it, have a "title," and then make a decision if you prefer to keep the role, pass it on, or move up.

round_the_world
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:34 am

Re: Move to admin?

Post by round_the_world »

Thanks for the replies so far! Lots to consider.

@shadowjack How does the overall stress level/work-life balance as an admin compare to when you were a teacher?

@Thames Pirate Do you think it would affect my future recruiting prospects if I moved to one of those positions and then moved back to the classroom? Would it look like I am not competent enough for the increased responsibility or like I am not committed to my subject area?

And for anyone else who will chime in: how many years of classroom teaching experience should someone have before becoming an assistant principal or principal?

shadowjack
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Move to admin?

Post by shadowjack »

round_the_world - it depends on the school. Large schools are more time, smaller are less. That said, the further up the ladder, or the nature of a given year (reaccrediation/reauthorization/lots of new staff/expansion started/finished/opening) can dramatically change the amount of time. Expect you will be around school a lot more at times with admin as opposed to teaching. Showing your face at sports events, movie nights, information nights, board meetings, and more.

i second Thames Pirate's view - move up a rung and see, then move up again. One thing you will notice is that by necessity your viewpoint and considerations will change based on your new position - and staff will say things that you just let ride because you have information, but aren't privy to share it. That part is frustrating - when staff are quick to blame admin and you know that they are wrong - but it's not your position to correct them - confidentiality is important.

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

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Being able to go to the bathroom when I wanted too. Much better coin and comp.
Not getting those light bulb moments when kids get something and feeling of making a real difference in their lives and their future.

Position like CAS coordinator, IB coordinator, grade level or team leader, or HOD are junior leadership and more ITs with clerical duties. There isnt a whole lot of leading or managing involved.

Stress in leadership is different kinds of stress. Everyone has a boss, when youre an IT and something goes wrong you feel more like youre in trouble. hen youre in leadership and things go wrong its more of another thing youve got to fix mentality. If your really good at leadership it doesnt look much different from not doing anything at all.
Edus generally have three types of tasking (actually four) but they are performance, production and preparation. As an IT the focus tends to be on performance thats the differentiation for a classroom IT. For leadership its production. That type of tasking appeals to some and avoided at all costs by others.

It depends ho much time you split your leadership tasks with classroom tasks. At 25% leadership your still an IT youre ASP is just admin type work, but then your not really seen as leadership at all. At 50% or more leadership responsibility you more identify with leadership who have some classes, but then your practice suffers (or is perceived too).

As few as possible. There are a lot of contributors who feel that an IT isnt respectable as a leader if they havent been in the trenches for X years, but there respect and opinion really doesnt matter. The skill set and tasking of leadership and ITs is so different they dont have much crossover. The sooner youre into leadership and senior leadership the sooner youll learn how to manage well, and then it wont matter what your classroom record was.

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