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Assistant head back to teacher

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by racchel, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,
    I just wanted a bit of advice please!!
    Since September 2010 I've been working as an Assistant Head. At my last school I was an AST and after 8 years of teaching it appeared the next step in my career. However, I've really not enjoyed it and have made my decision to go back into a teacher role and hopefully carry on my AST work if the school and LEA agree. The thought of another year doing it fills me with dread and worry! The main reason I don't like it to be honest is the huge responsibility and being the middle man between the head and the rest of the staff is not easy! Who knows, in a couple of years I may change my mind and try it again when I've had more teaching experience. My only concern is to future employers it looks a bit suspicious when taking a step backwards! I have explained in my letter of application that I am more than happy to negotiate pay etc.
    Any ideas how I can not put future employers off from considering my application?
    Anyone been in the same/ similar situation?
    All advice very gratefully received.
    Thank you

  2. I stepped back from Assistant Headteacher - after 18 miserable months in the job - to HoD and it was the best thing I ever did. I was concerned about how it would look, but employers did not seem to take the same view. They welcomed the experience I was able to bring to the department and the school and I had no problem getting interviews and finding a job.
    Totally understand your feelings about the role of AH and when asked the linevitable question of 'why?' my response has always been the same, "I prefer to work more directly with the students.'
    I feel far more able to 'make a difference' now as I am on the front line and, I actually enjoy going to work now!
    Good luck
  3. I had similar feelings when I first became a deputy and a head and I really struggled and seriously looked at going back into the classroom on both occasions. However, i have learnt that there does need to be a period of adjustment. I would suggest you give it a little more time to see if things settle down before making a definite decision. I think you need to be specific about what you do not like about the job and talk to either your Head or someone independent (perhaps from the LA) about these issues to see if they can be improved. Being an AH or DH is extremely hard - you are caught between the Head and the staff and this can be difficult. I hope things work out for you and good luck with whatever you decide.
  4. I've read this with interest as I started in an AHT post last September and am hating it. I feel completely overwhelmed all the time and just feel like everyone wants a piece of me and I can't keep up with the constant demands and requests. The workload is unbelievable, I'm neglecting my teaching and attend about 12 meetings a week. I don't get anything done as the phone is constantly ringing and people are coming to see me all day with problems and queries. I know it's meant to be tough but it's more than that! I've never been so stressed in the 12 years I've been teaching and am on the verge of going off with stress. The only solution I can see is to look for another job or see if my school will let me relinquish my responsibility but that's unlikely. It's just not worth the stress and I now know that leadership is just not for me!!!!
  5. Thanks I will do. I'm actually ill at the moment which I think has been brought about by all this. Feel really poorly and everytime I think about work I feel really sick and anxious. There is a culture at work of being stressed and overloaded and running round like a headless chicken. I just can't work like that though...........thanks for the advice trans.
  6. In that case i'd advise leaving. I worked as a deputy for a Head once who did what you describe to everyone! She's still doing it now 10 years later-a way of making the most talented and creative people feel inadequate and full of worry. It was much less work for me and stress when I moved from there to a Headship in a very small school in Sp M! There are good schools out there who will make good use of your talent and leadership potential and want you to go home happy each day. One plus is that it is worthwhile experience even though you can't see it now- you know you'd treat your own team much better than this. Don't give up.
  7. Thanks, I appreciate the post. I have been thinking abou leaving as I don't think it is the school for me. I feel quite judged by one or two staff there too! I'm just worried about my sick record as I was quite poorly earlier in the year (school were supportive though) and now I'm ill again but this time I think it's due to stress.
    I'm going to start looking for something else for January but to be honest, I feel like I want to leave teaching all together now....
  8. I would write a note attached to letter of application explaining absence. A shame to leave the profession and to waste your experience, training & expertise. Schools are vastly different one to the next and you might be fine elsewhere. Maybe just teach a class for a while to get your mojo back!!
  9. Thanks, appreciate the advice. I've taught in many schools and the only one I truly loved being in was a small SEN school where I was just class teacher. I actually looked forward to going in every day which has never happened in any other teaching job! I've been off ill today which I feel bad about but I think it was best for my physical and mental health as don't think I would have coped if I'd gone in.
  10. What an interesting thread.

    I have been teaching for 11 years now, six of which have been as a PT Pastoral Care. I feel quite strongly that I am ready for the next step in my career and have been upset by my lack of success getting to interview when applying for jobs.
    However, if my experienceion pastoral care has taught me nothing else it is that things take their own time and, however twee, lessons can and should be learned.
    I am not prone to stress but I respond badly when others around me are frantic - that's not conducive to productive work! I do know that I can feel overwhelmed by how 'in demand' I can be. However, if I am honest, this is also what I love about the job.
    I am full of admiration for people who have the self-awareness to be able to step back and say "this is not for me". Imagine what schools would be like if more people did this - happier, more reflective and colleagues would have far more respect for each other.
    Good luck - whatever you decide to do. Oh, and NEVER feel guilty for taking the odd day off. Health and wellbeing isn't just about broken legs and flu.

  11. Thank you for your response, it was really interesting to read. I do feel quite out of my depth a lot of the time, despite getting positive feedback. We have another really good AH who started at the same time as me and I feel quite overshadowed by her as she's really confident and better at behaviour management.
    Yes I feel like that!
    I find this difficult too. People at my place are running around like headless chickens all stressed and with too much to do. It seems to be the culture and norm there!
  12. No point dragging yourself down lower. Life's too short. Resign and move on.
  13. floydee

    floydee New commenter

    I have read these threads with interest: I also have be a AHT since September and it feels like I have had every operational issue thrown at me to sort; day to day reactive management is not what I thought the role was about. I have had little opportunity to consider strategic development of key aspects of my job spec and when I feel totally overwhelmed and have been to a DHT for advice I was told just not to do some parts of the job!
    However the crisis managment has given me lots of evidence of implementing structures that have had a quick impact and this has allowed me to secure a new AHT role at a new school that is a much more defined job spec within a forward thinking and seemingly well organised SMT. So the future can be brighter and I hope the work/life balance will benefit significantly. I think you need to do what is right for you and don't worry too much about the absence if you have a justified reason for this then there should be no issue - like you at the end of the term I was dead on my feet so was hit by every bacterial bug going so my attendance this year has not been fantastic.
  14. I would wholeheartedly agree with this - I've been an AHT where I am for two years and, while I haven't enjoyed it for a fair bit of the time I've been here, it has provided a great learning experience and stepping stone to a school and a job where I think I will be happy. You have to do what is right for you.

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