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Career planning advice please.

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by groovybob, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. groovybob

    groovybob New commenter

    I am making a career in international schooling and am the sort of person to have aims and goals and plan realistic ways of getting there. the ultimate 10-20 year goal is to be head of a school somewhere.
    but in the interim I'd like to get an idea of what you think would be the more influential positions to aim for in the medium term.

    I see 3 main 5-year(ish) targets that I am interested in and wonder which would carry the most influence and promotional potential.

    1) Head of Science role
    2) Head of sixth form
    3) Head of boarding / Head of house

    a little about me:
    I am currently head of physics with 3 years teaching experience and about 12 years various business and technical experience including management before that. A strong interest in leadership techniques and philosophies as well as a very broad extra curricula profile. (sports, DofE, music, drama...etc)

    opinions and advice welcome.

    (i Have added spaces in paragraphs and I hope they are still there when I click Post. here goes.....)
  2. groovybob

    groovybob New commenter

  3. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    I'm the opposite, a foundling child of happenstance. So hats off to you.
    If you do them well, any of the three types of responsibility you mention could lead to a headship.
    Perhaps head of Sixth Form has a marginal advantage here... but then again, heading a large department with responsibility for teaching and learning from Years 7 to 13 may offer you a bigger picture.
    Boarding is not relevant to most international schools, although there may be governors who will purr with snobbish delight if you have been housemaster at an HMC school.
    (I assume you are male as I've met some strange girls in my time but never one named groovybob)
    Your interest in leadership styles is pertinent, and you should closely study your current head(s) for examples of how-to-do-it and how-not-to. The extra-curricular portfolio is absolutely vital and will be the source of much pleasure to mitigate the stress of headship. Many International schools are 3-18 monsters, so an informed interest in smaller citizens is important, something that's always been a struggle for me.
    Heads with a Science background are still, I think disproportionately few, compared to those of us who blathered our way up via the Humanities. Sociologists both pro and amateur may now discuss the reasons why...
    Nobody will hold against you the fact that this site hashes up the formatting of anything imported from a word processor and anything typed into a browser other than IE.
  4. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    The advice you have received has been excellent. I do have three additional suggestions. The first is that you plan to acquire a post-graduate degree in Educational Administration at some point (I was able to muddle along without one, but those days are nearly done and it does open the door to administration more easily). Secondly, you should get your name out there in the mysterious international Heads network by attending job fairs and conferences (perhaps, even giving a paper or two). Heads and Headhunters are always on the lookout for talent. Indeed, it is possible that over their snifters of cognac (speaking only for myself) that one might ask another if they know of anyone, for example, who could be a good Deputy Head. Thirdly, chose schools with your ambitions in mind. There are schools where staff turnover is frequent and administrative positions can quickly pop open (often this is not because it is a bad school, but because the country living situation is more difficult, or appears so in the world press: e.g. Colombia). Further to this last point, some schools and some Heads have good reputations for encouraging staff to become administrators. They might not always pay the most or be in the most desirable locations, but, given your ambitions, I would encourage you to seek them out.

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