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HOD experiences required please!

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Pmer, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. I am a Maths NQT in my second term at a state school in Yorkshire. Observations I have had have been consistently good/ outstanding and I enjoy and am proud of my teaching. However, I am looking forward to the future and I want to become a Second in Department, ultimately leading to HOD. Obviously I know this will take some time, and I know it would be stupid to rush anything, but wondered how long it took everyone to go from NQT to HOD, in any subject? Also, is there anything I should be doing now (courses/ books/ additional responsibilities etc.) that would start preparing me for a middle leaders role? Or any other advice at all! Thanks in advance, from an enthusiastic NQT.
     
  2. I am a Maths NQT in my second term at a state school in Yorkshire. Observations I have had have been consistently good/ outstanding and I enjoy and am proud of my teaching. However, I am looking forward to the future and I want to become a Second in Department, ultimately leading to HOD. Obviously I know this will take some time, and I know it would be stupid to rush anything, but wondered how long it took everyone to go from NQT to HOD, in any subject? Also, is there anything I should be doing now (courses/ books/ additional responsibilities etc.) that would start preparing me for a middle leaders role? Or any other advice at all! Thanks in advance, from an enthusiastic NQT.
     
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    HoD Core = 10 years
     
  4. Get two solid years (at least) under your belt before going for a TLR role, you must ensure that you are a onsistently solid teacher otherwise you will really struggle when you get to HOD level. For myself I was head of KS3 in my third year, became second in faculty in year 5, and I am now a HOD (I have been for the last 3 years) I started this in my 7th year of teaching and this is for Mathematics in one of the largest secondary schools in the country. You will know yourself when you are ready for more. Good luck!
     
  5. I started feeling ready for more responsibility after three years of teaching - but because I didn't want to move schools I waited for another year and will now be second in dept after four years. I think you will know when it is right for you. What you can do in the meantime is volunteer whenever something interesting comes up, eg competitions, trips, revamping parts of the Scheme of Work, cross-curricular. All this looks good when you do decide to go for the next move.
     
  6. I'm in a similar position, NQT also maths. I've been told to concentrate on T&L and think about anything else as and when the time comes.
     
  7. I am an NQT in a core subject and have been given a TLR for KS3 and intervention. If you are capable and you prove it, the senior team and governors will recognise it. I have had a particularly steep learning process and have had to step up very early due to a very complicated department and previous incompetent teaching.
     
  8. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    I was just enthusiastic as you were when I first started. I'm 35 next month and I've had two children in the mean time. Anyway... My point is, If I minus those years I was off being pregnant and on maternity leave, I had to wait about 10-11 years only because I felt ready to move up and on in my career.

    But before that, I was Assistant Subject Leader Social Sciences before acting being an Acting HoD for English then I fell pregnant, resumed Social Sciences position then a year ago moved to London to be Subject Leader in English. (My timetable was Social Sciences but mainly English).

    Point is, you will know when you are ready to move up. But just gain some experience in raising student achievement.
     
  9. Hi,
    I am in my third year of teaching. I took on the role of HOD in my second year of teaching (RS) and had great success (I created full a full GCSE and A level in philosophy and ethics and made changes which improved results by 200% - all in 1 year). I have just got a job as Faculty Leader of Humanities in a new school, starting in September (the start of my 4th year teaching). Evidence everything you do, ask a HOD to mentor you, look at what CPD is available, speak to SLT about their routes to leadership, and don't sit back waiting for oppertunities to "come along". Also - don't think your teaching will suffer if you go for promotion, My teaching and classroom management got better with promotion becasue my confidence improved greatly.
    Good luck and set yourself a target (when you you want to be on SLT?)
    MD
     
  10. FrenchFlower

    FrenchFlower New commenter

    I am sure it could definitely be possible in the independent sphere - I became HOD MFL one year after my NQT year and I know someone who became HOD in maths at a prep school one year after his NQT year too. But as I said, things are very different in the independent prep world.

    Good luck and love our enthusiasm.
     
  11. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    I was rank&file for 5, 2nd for 3 (incl 1 as acting HOD), and so was HOD by age of 30 after 8 years of teaching. This is in Maths. It could so easily be less for Maths tho - many of my equivalents at other Surrey schools took less time than this.
     
  12. Time to reach HOD will vary significantly depending on subject and school. However it isn't at all uncommon for a Maths teacher to get some responsibility (probably something like lead of KS3) in 2-4 years.
    The other root is to look for some of the other responsibilities in the dept. Depending on size your dept. may have responsibilities for intervention or additional learning needs etc. This are more likely to be open to a less experienced teacher.
    If you are willing to look beyond your dept. many schools have TLRs for pastoral or cohort learning roles, e.g. assistant head of year 8 or whatever. These positions often require huge amounts of data analysis and intervention and may involve being a line manager (e.g. of form tutors) which even though no subject specific will give valuable experience towards a HOD position.
     


  13. My advice would
    be to get involved in what you enjoy doing... Some of which will be
    voluntary... I got involved in creating
    a Yearbook, Assistant HOY, Leading Teaching & Learning Community groups,
    then took on a PSHE developmental role, then started a TLR role for the VLE,
    got involved in whole-school network infrastructure review and then applied for
    HOD.


    • Yearbook Coordinator: 6 years
    • Assistant HOY: 9 months
    • PSHE developmental role: 1 year
    • VLE Project Co-ordinator: 4years
    • TLC Learning Leader: 2 years

    It has taken me 7
    years in total to get to becoming HOD (and I start from September)... (you may notice these don't add up to 7 years! - I was doing more than one role, for a lot of the time!)


    Within that time
    I have been active in whole school initiatives, voluntary meetings after school
    etc.

    Be kind, be
    passionate, work hard and you will get there!

     
    jarndyce likes this.
  14. I am currently in my 5th year of teaching and have just been appointed HOD for English, starting after Easter.
    This is the third school I have worked in and worked as a second in department before being appointed as HOD.
    I have found that knowing when to leave a school (particularly one where CPD and progression for younger staff are non-existent!) and taking some risks in my career have helped me to achieve this role.
     
  15. Was given HOD in my second term of my NQT!
     
  16. snail_friendly

    snail_friendly Occasional commenter

    Lots of factors come into play - personally I was HoS (Media Studies) in my second year for two years, then had some TLR with diff responsibilities for a few years (gaining experience & finding out strengths etc ...) then second for 5 years (again with diff focuses) then HOD - so a total of 10 but this was all in the same school.

    My friend who went the AST route and moved school to be HOD did it in 8!
     
  17. Xericist

    Xericist New commenter

    A good opportunity rarely comes up when the time is right. Three years is not a long time to acquire much experience, given that you rarely get management training. It's not just the teaching - admin responsibilities can be truly onerous. How would you cope,for example, if SLT were not that supportive, with not uncommon issues such as a colleague of 20 years' experience who is in a rut. Or a feud? Or workplace disputes? It's often not plain sailing! But best wishes!
     
  18. I took on Acting HOD of MFL half way through my 3rd year. I'd taught for 2 years, then went on maternity leave, then shortly after I came back my HOD announced she was pregnant. I got the job because I was the longest standing member of the department in that school besides one colleague who already had a whole school responsibility of her own. On the back of that experience, I then immediately moved onto another school where I'm now a fully fledged HOD in my own right. Experience that I could draw on at my interview for the acting HOD job, though, was as follows:
    - setting up an Italian club off my own back
    - involvement in organising trips
    - becoming involved in a steering committee about the school's rewards/sanctions policy
    - taking the lead in organising the department's contribution to open evening
    - leading department meetings when my HOD was off ill with her pregnancy (rather than just waiting for her to return)

    Generally, being able to show initiative and that you know what needs to be done is a good start. Having a vision for how you want your department to be is essential too - you can have that vision quite early on in your career, but I must admit I don't often hear of HODs of core subjects taking on that role as early as I have done.

    I definitely second what other people have said on here, though, about finding things to get involved with both at department level and whole school level. Keep your eyes and ears open. However, I would say for at least your NQT year, just focus on your teaching/classroom management/building up your bank of resources. Taking on extra responsibilities gets easier as you get more confident in your teaching and planning.
     
  19. Maths
    1 yr 1 term as main scale
    2 years 2 terms as second in dept (curriculum, assessment and intervention in all year groups)
    Started as HoF in September

    Absolutely loving it, but its been hard, not only to convince interview panels that I'm ready (I've been successful each time I've applied) - but I know it's all about choosing the right school that you can offer something to.

    I have a colleague who has taught as long as me,and she feels she isn't ready to take in any additional responsibilities, all depends on what your personal situation is,and your skill set

    If your hungry, and competent, go for it!

    The school I applied for for the second in dept role had a line in the letter to applicants that I loved, "experience isn't about age and time served, it's what you've done with the time you have had" - this is so true!
     
  20. Ive been in education for almost 10 years now and have basically worked in England and the US. During this time Ive worked on everything including testing,curriculum,hiring ..you name it. Since I moved countries I didnt wait around to take the normal ladder people take in being the HOD. I jumped ship and got hired as an HOD when a job offer came around. I must say I moved schools a lot since its not very easy climbing the ladder when there are more experienced people on the same ship . But if you think you can do it I say DO IT! . There is no hard rule anywhere and everyone should give it a go . If you cant manage it then try something else. Otherwise you will always reflect and regret the fact that you didn't give it a chance.
     

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