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How many years teaching before stepping up to Principal Teacher?

Discussion in 'Scotland - Primary' started by Deputy Dawg, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Hi. I'm interested to find out how many years teaching experience Principal Teachers had before applying for their promoted post. There's a principal teacher post I am interested in but I only have three years experience (including my probationary year) and wonder if my application will even be considered. Obviously I know it depends on so much more than just length of service - your experience, what you'd bring to the school, leadership qualities, etc - but I'd be interested to know people's opinion on this.
    Many thanks!
     
  2. Hi. I'm interested to find out how many years teaching experience Principal Teachers had before applying for their promoted post. There's a principal teacher post I am interested in but I only have three years experience (including my probationary year) and wonder if my application will even be considered. Obviously I know it depends on so much more than just length of service - your experience, what you'd bring to the school, leadership qualities, etc - but I'd be interested to know people's opinion on this.
    Many thanks!
     
  3. My friend got two interviews for principal teacher after having only 3 years experience! She didn't get the jobs but that was more down to people within the school getting the jobs.
    I think it is really about experience and how you personally feel. I have only had 2 years experience but I don't feel like I could cope with the added pressure and work of a principal teacher, within the next year or two. I am happy working as a class teacher.
    So I think it it very much each to their own, and how much experience of leadership you have had. There is absolutely no harm in applying though!
     
  4. I started teaching in 1999 and was made a PT in May 2003 - no probationary year then so first year was odd job supply - but I know some schools do look for around 5 years experience.
    If you want quick promotion easiest way is within your own school if possible as you are well-known and live out daily what you'll promise in any interview - that's how I did it. Show dedication to your school by taking forward new intiatives or after-school clubs etc. I know alot of people may disagree with doing this before you're getting 'paid' but it worked for me and quite a large number of the PTs I know.
    Project leadership is a good course for aspiring PTs did in my first year in post depends on your authority how easy it is to get on it.

    Good luck and I wish you well!!
     
  5. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    In order to obtain a PT promoted post, it is likely that you will have to sing the praises of a Curriculum for Excellence and use all the current, politically correct buzz words with confidence.
    Therefore, in some ways, less classroom teaching experience could be a benefit. You will be able to take on extra responsibilities, and push forward current educational initiatives, without the worries more experienced teachers have about declining standards within education.
    I know a number of enthusiastic young, and not so young, inexperienced teachers who bring a great deal to the life of a school, whilst realising that they still have a great deal to learn. Forget about the 'quality of experience' argument. If you've only had a few years in teaching, you're experience is still very limited.
    There are also those who are over-confident about their own abilities. They don't have enough practical experience, they don't recognise their own limitations and they do more harm than good. In leadership roles, they are a nightmare for the pupils and other staff.
    Unfortunately in the current educational climate, there are many experienced and reflective classroom teachers who have been bullied into accepting nebulous educational waffle and ill thought out policies.
    Some of them will have given up on applying for promoted posts because they realise it will involve implementing initiatives they know, from experience, won't work and compromising their professional integrity. They have resigned themselves to concentrating on their own classroom teaching where hopefully they can minimise the damage done to children's education.
    So, in the final analysis, you need to decide whether your being promoted to PT would benefit the pupils within the school or simply bring you extra money in your pay packet.
    At least there's no harm in applying and you will gain interview experience even if unsuccessful.
     
  6. Hi flyonthewall75

    Thanks for offering your thoughts. As an enthusiastic, not so young, teacher of but four years experience, I feel I need to offer a response to your post. I completely empathise with the frustrations of my more experienced, longer in the tooth colleagues when they bemoan poor policy and change which isn't change - more a case of same old in new packaging.

    However, as a newer teacher, it can also be frustrating to constantly hear 'been there, got the t-shirt'. Many have, but I haven't. I understand that many of my colleagues have grown so frustrated with the way that education is going that they choose to keep their heads down and get on the best they can with the business of teaching. However, my lack of experience means I haven't developed this level of cynicism yet.

    I would suggest this quote reflects the kind of cynicism I mean: "Therefore, in some ways, less classroom teaching experience could be a benefit. You will be able to take on extra responsibilities, and push forward current educational initiatives, without the worries more experienced teachers have about declining standards within education."

    I find this view that new teachers blindly push forward initiatives insulting. Lack of experience doesn't mean a lack of reflection and evaluation. Of course I have a heck of a lot more to learn, but I am still capable of making informed judgements on the way I am expected to teach. Yes, many things I will have little say over. But there are also things that I can have an impact on. If, by pursuing a promoted post, I can play a more active role in improving the way my school is run, then I will pursue it. That, incidentally is the reason I am seeking promotion, the extra money in my pay packet comes secondary.

    Again, let me reiterate that I understand many of the points you make in your post. But if we 'new teachers' give up just as we've left the starting box, what hope for the future? Someone has to pick up the baton and continue to fight the good fight! :)

    DD
     
  7. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Fair comment.
    If you believe you can improve the way the school is run then go for it. If you can take more experienced colleagues with you, then so much the better.
    However, our education system is not in a healthy state if experienced practioners feel unable to challenge ill thought out initiatives and present educationally sound alternatives for fear of recriminations.
    What we currently have is a state theory of learning that has been developed for political purposes. Teachers who are required to develop critical thinking skills in their pupils are now expected to suspend their own critical thinking skills and implement whatever initiative is flavour of the month, no matter how daft.
    Younger teachers are being promoted, not just because they have ability, energy and enthusiasm, but because they are more likely to be 'team players' in promoting current educational policy. That, I would suggest, is a very cynical move on the part of the SG, LAs and some HTs and is not in the best interest of pupils.
    I don't believe all new teachers will blindly push forward current initiatives. Some, and especially those who are more mature, have real doubts about such issues as the serious lack of content and detailed guidance within a CfE.
    Good luck if you are promoted. You may be able to bring an element of common sense to the school in which you work.

     
  8. writersblog

    writersblog New commenter

    Hi there,
    I don't think you can put a set number of years on it. Make sure you have been involved in curriculum development initiatives and have had the opportunity to lead a working party within your school. In many ways, principal teacher post is more challenging than some other promoted posts. I believe this is so because you still need to manage and organise a class of children as well as take on board your new management duties. It can be a challenge! Know what the remit is for the principal teacher job and decide whether that is for you. Make sure the remit suits your skills and areas of interest. Good luck and go for it when you feel the time is right and the job profile is right!
     
  9. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    The OP stated they had three years experience, including their probationary year.
    As a Principal Teacher you will be working with other colleagues who have 10, 20, 30 or more years experience, at different primary stages and in a variety of schools.
    Whatever the excellent qualities of a recently qualified teacher, they have limited teaching experience having only taught for a few years.
    Of course, anyone can apply for a promoted post and a HT can nominate the candidate they wish to be appointed by the employer.
    However, if experience at different primary stages, preferably in a variety of schools, is no longer considered essential for a promoted post, what does that say about teaching as a profession?
    Would the NHS promote an inexperienced, junior doctor over a registrar or consultant?
     

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