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Progression during RQT

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by AKJR007, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. AKJR007

    AKJR007 New commenter

    Hi all,

    TL;DR What can an early career teacher be doing to make progress towards a middle management role?

    I'm going into my RQT year (secondary English) and am keen to show my ambition to SLT with a view to developing my career. I've always been hugely ambitious and don't like 'standing still', though I entirely appreciate the necessity of establishing myself in the classroom and 'paying my dues' before making any huge leaps.

    I work in a school where both my Second and Head of Department are equally fantastic - and static. Although I'd much rather go down the 'departmental' route than the pastoral one (I have a very challenging form group and don't feel that this is where my strengths lie!), we don't have Lead Practitioner roles in our school and therefore I can't really see a way of taking on additional responsibilities within the English department.

    Beyond that, it feels like there is a distinct lack of opportunities for early career teachers who want to take steps towards being a middle leader, so am seeking some advice as to what I should be doing. I already assist with three extracurriculars and have supported several trips this year, I attend 75% of the events that the school puts on, and I'm one of the first to sign up for CPD opportunities.

    My particular areas of interest are disadvantaged children, careers, literacy and parental outreach.

    Any wisdom would be very much appreciated - each member of staff meets with the head in October and I would love to have some ideas to pitch to him with regard to how I can progress!

  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I suggest you focus on actually getting a couple of years under your belt in the classroom. Nothing gets up people's noses more than a manager who has made a quick dash from the classroom to an office. Because they will query how you can judge them in the classroom when you've barely been in it.

    Then you can start to look for MLT posts outside your current school. Or, perhaps you can discuss the prospect of assisting with literacy across the school, or careers.

    I would be careful, actually. It reads as though you're in a school with a lot of established staff, so be careful that your enthusiasm doesn't come over as "you're old and I know better."
    Piranha, sabrinakat and blue451 like this.
  3. AKJR007

    AKJR007 New commenter

    Thank you for your advice!

    I totally understand that sentiment - nothing worse than someone who talks the talk but can't walk the walk... I suppose I should have mentioned that I'm a career changer who has 5 years' management experience, hence one of my reasons for wanting to progress so quickly.

    Yes, there are several established staff, the vast majority of whom are excellent teachers. However, I feel that the school will continue to bleed 'new blood' if there aren't the opportunities for them to take on more responsibility.

    Thanks again!
  4. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Star commenter

    You need a few years honing your classroom practice before even thinking of moving into middle management. I agree with post 2 completely.
    blue451 and CWadd like this.
  5. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    But you are a novice in teaching. I really would just buckle up and accept that at present, you are only just learning the art of teaching. Not go on a tack of "Well this worked in my previous career, so the school should..." You're in a different career. I really wouldn't assume that everyone wants to sit in SLT, which is what I'm reading from your response. If people choose to leave to seek challenges elsewhere, that's their choice. Not everyone can be a manager - not because of lack of ability, but because of staffing needs and budgets.

    Before I'm accused of being patronising or crushing dreams, if I career changed into investment banking, advertising, or anything else, I would be at the bottom of the ladder, and having to learn. I speak as someone with 13 years experience who is a HoD.
    andthentherewerenone likes this.
  6. Chesters8

    Chesters8 New commenter

    I agree with the points made by @CWadd and @smurphy6; you really need another 1 or 2 years of teaching before considering any management roles. Getting the best results you can in terms of GCSE / A level (both actual results and value added) with be very useful in terms of securing a promoted post in the future. You are doing a lot of extra activities which is good. Maybe you could run intervention or booster classes or organise a new club (e.g. film, drama, debating as relevant to English) or consider an event for parents (e.g. 'Help your child with English' evening). As an ex head of a core subject, these are the kinds of things I would expect in applications for a second in department role.
    sabrinakat and CWadd like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    There is a reason for that! :rolleyes:
    Piranha and CWadd like this.
  8. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    My eyebrows are also slightly raised by someone who has barely started teaching passing judgement on established staff's ability and how the school should do more to keep the new blood. If the new blood isn't up to scratch it can flow, frankly. In three years' time young, perhaps pushy new teachers are going to be in the Staff Room and likely saying the same thing about you. Be aware.
    blue451 and sabrinakat like this.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It sounds as if you are working in a good school, if they can retain "fantastic" staff like these. Opportunities for advancement occur more often in schools which people want to leave. You can stay and hope that somebody does move up/away and that you get the job, but really, you need to be prepared to move school, perhaps to a more demanding one. But I go along with the advice to get a bit more experience first.

    I had more than 5 years management experience when I started teaching, but realised that it would take me a while to become good enough at teaching before hoping to do any management.
    CWadd and caterpillartobutterfly like this.

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