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Career advance or career suicide

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by penarol, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. A tricky one...all my teaching life I have worked in the best (or very nearly...SMT Dude!!) schools in the countries I have been in. My career path has been like many, and I find myself in a very good school working as Head. Now....I have received an offer from a not too good school...but the money is such that I could retire in 10 years. However, I don't want to retire in 10 years...

    If I took this post, and stayed for, let's say, 5 years, would it:
    1) Matter not a jot to my next potential employer.
    2) Mess up what I think is a very good CV.
    3) None of the above, but something else...

    Give me some career advice people...
  2. loopyfrog

    loopyfrog New commenter

    I'm a 'live for the moment' kind of person. Will you enjoy those 5 years? Will you improve the school so that it can compete with the best? Could it actually be better than going with a safe bet? Or is it in a horribl city and run by mercenary education-hating governors?
  3. momentofclarity

    momentofclarity New commenter

    Really only a few questions to consider.

    1. Are you ready to leave?

    2. Do you have to leave?

    3. Do you want to leave?

    If the answer is no to all of these the whole situation seems like a bit of a non-starter. If it is yes to one or more, maybe time to start digging a bit deeper into the school's reputation and if it is deserved. If it is in one of the less than desirable areas of our circuit your 5/10 year prediction may just be a bit optimistic.

    Good luck, it is not an easy decision, I certainly don't envy you right now.

    Cheers, MoC
  4. Thanks for the advice so far people...and from the POV of if I went to this school....would it impact negatively on my CV having worked at a mid-table Championship club for 5 years when I previously worked in top 5 Premier clubs??
  5. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Penarol, this is coming from someone who isn't ambitious, is on the downward toddle to retirement and doesn't give two hoots what my CV looks like so take it with a grain of salt.
    You obviously are attracted to this school for whatever reasons all of which are pertinent and important to your family's future. So, you have worked at five top schools, potential employers will know you aren't chicken feed, your record already precedes you.

    Will you be going to this other school as management? If so, perhaps you can have a hand in making this school top notch and think of how that will look on your CV.
    Good luck with your decision making but I reckon you should go for it!
  6. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Sorry, just read that you are Head of your current school and I presume will be going into the Headship of the other school so; my previous comments stand with bells on!
    ....and, how do you know you won't want to retire in ten years time. Life throws curve balls at us all the time and if, perchance, you do change your mind, you will have the means to do it. If not, you are in an enviable situation in not having to make any future decisions based on monetary requirements.
  7. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    All seems clear to me what factors are important.
    Do you want to live in the country where the new school is? Do you fancy a new challenge with all the risks and factors involved with that? Do you need to have a good CV in future? Do you need that extra money? Can you present a good argument if everything went **** up? Are you happy where you are? Who else will be affected by this move and what are their thoughts?
    Without knowing you or your motivations, bloody impossible to answer. Hope that helps.[​IMG]

  8. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    How many heads has the school had in the previous, say, 10 years?
    I know one head who left a good school for a lower league school for the big bucks but was then out of a job within 6 months
    He found it very hard to get back into a good school
  9. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    BFG, why was the person out of a job within six months? Quit, fired, school went broke?
  10. Once again, thanks for the advice peeps.

    To answer some stuff.
    Other school would be a step up as post is Principal of whole school and I am Head of Section now.
    Other school is in a place that is a bit (just a bit) less attractive than where I am now.
    It is an interesting project as it is moving into 3rd year of IB programmes (starting with PYP)
    Pay is 60% more than I get now (!)
    The education of my son would take a bit of a hit as the other school isn't as good as where i am now...

    Keep the posts coming...
  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I think you should go for it but send your son to a different school. If the school is not doing as well as it could be, there is going to be a certain amount of resistance and resentment at the changes that you will need to instigate and see through. Those changes will be much easier if your son does not have to listen to snide remarks or comments from other students ( or, sadly, staff ).

  12. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Well that sounds a decent opportunity from both career and monetary
    reasons; rare to get a 60% increase unless chasing the petro dollars.
    You are hardly going to be offered a head ship in a top range school
    staright off, I'd guess they wouldn't take that chance. Best to go and
    prove yourself elsewhere and then look to apply for opportunities at the
    top end if you are that career driven. Personnally I'm not, though
    reckon I'd be a better head than 95% of those I've served under.
    course you can't be sending your son to a different school; just
    doesn't look good does it and undermines any attempt you'd make to
    'sell' your school to parents? I'd be more worried about the effect on
    his relationships than education. My daughter will learn anywhere she
    goes as I've taught her to interact and question (I hope) and I interact
    and explain situations in child talk and take an interest in what she
    does, so I'd never be worried about the quality of this or that
    'individual or school' (though the crappy Year 1 teacher who put her off
    reading was a bit of a concern) as it is a temporary stage in their
    lives, and even more so as you'll be guiding the direction the school
    If you apply and don't get the post, you'll look back and laugh at the worries you had BUT will also have sent a strong message to your present employers you are keen to progress your career. If you get the post and understand what makes your present school succesful, applying the same to your new post would surely bring rick rewards.
    Go for it!

  13. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    I faced a very similar choice some years ago: leaving my career orbit as a teacher/IB Coordinator with top schools and jumping to a Section Headship in a much lower level school (think tier 4). Family issues were the deciding factor for me and I made the jump. The transition was very difficult as many lower level schools are there for a reason: poor governance and lack of resources. Still, I was able to make a career as Head of Section and, later, Head of School. I was, however, never able to move back up to the top school level because, I believe, that I fell too low. In that respect it was, indeed, career suicide. In retrospect, though, it worked out very well for my family and I was able to carve out a professional niche as a Head who could move tier 3 and 4 schools up to tier 2 (I was successful in three of four schools). Thus, having committed career suicide and lived to tell the tale, I believe that you would not have to face such an issue since, as you wrote, you would be moving down only a level . Indeed, it might be career making if you were to establish a reputation as one who could lead tier 2 schools to a top school level or as a Head who could turn around a declining top tier school (there are lots of those around).
    A few words of advice regarding lower level schools. Be sure of their governance. You want to have the freedom to make decisions without the owners/Board interfering. Also, make sure that they will give you sufficient resources to get the job done. Indeed, some lower level schools are very satisfied with their place and simply do not want to move. Others, want to move until you discuss the costs: good teachers do cost money! The owners/Boards of such schools can make a Head's position very unstable,, particularly when you ask for authority and resources. The late Nick M. once told me that the job expectancy of a Head was 20 months (a suspiciously round number, but not, in my experience, too far off). As I wrote earlier, some lower level schools are there for a reason.
    Good luck and let us know your final decision.

  14. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    It was one of those places where the school had a foreign head and a local head
    The local head was inept but managed to persuade the owners (his relatives?) that it was the foreign head's fault when things went wrong (even although his hands were tied by the local head)
    Long line of foreign heads replaced and guess who is still there?
  15. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I would disagree. The important thing, from a parental point of view, is what is best for the child. It may very well be that attending the school is best but equally as well it may not.
    When I was at school there were a few staff who sent their children to different schools. As a teacher I have had many colleagues who have sent their children to different schools - and kept others at the school that they taught in.
    There are no rules on this. It really depends upon the child.
  16. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I really wish there had been an alternative school to send my daughter when I was the Head of the Primary section of the school.
    She copped some stick when we were there. Never from the staff who were beautiful, gentle souls. Actually, they used to comment all the time about how 'humble' she was, apparently this hadn't been so in the past. It was the children of certain people who didn't like some of my decisions who gave her a hard time. I would never put her through that again because of my decision to take a job.
  17. Once again, many thanks for all comments...I am travelling once again to visit the school this weekend with wife, and will decide on Monday whether I take job or not. Will let you all know.
    What a great thread!!!
  18. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    peñarol. I have been away and would like to know more, please make contact when you can, D

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