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what am i doing?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Mr_G_ICT, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter


    ok, i'm 2 weeks in to a new Head of dept role in a new school and i'm just feeling a bit lost. The previous HoD has left me with little to go on and i'm trying to figure it all out as well as do DIP's and SEF's, but i dont know about successes from the previous HoD or who is just pulling their weight. I'm having to run around trying to find paper from everywhere.

    i'm having to ask (what feels like) thousands of questions from my department and rely on them a lot. they are apparently a strong team with some good and some shakey results. Some of them are older members of staff and i think they can take me for a ride.

    What i'm after here is a bit of re-assurance, i feel like i should just know what i'm doing, and i shouldn't be asking as many questions as i am, but isn't a good head someone who relies on his team, especially when we are only 2 weeks in?

    Advice on what you would do as a new HoD would be great.
  2. mrstique

    mrstique New commenter

    I think that yours is a honest post and I admire you for that. My advice would be to give yourself some time and to cut yourself a bit of slack. Don't expect to become a miracle worker overnight. Knowing the field and who you are working with takes time. As a Head of Department I think you learn on the job and develop instinct for what is right for the particular needs of your team within your school context. Are there any friendly/generous/down to earth fellow HoDs in school that can guide you? Find someone you can be honest with and break down the barriers within these conversations. Having a like-minded colleague who you can bounce ideas around with and trust can be very stabilising.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Totally agree with the post above.

    You are a new HOD to the school, replacing someone who didn't provide you with a handover or any information in regards to the department- IMHO- Very unprofessional and it just shows what type of manager they were.
    Majority of teachers/ SLT would really appreciate a handover of some sort, especially if it is a new school they are joining irrespective of the many years of experience. Schools operate differently, and the way you did things in your old school might be completely different to your new one.

    Where else can you get the relevant information from? - one answer- Your colleagues. Do you have a second in department or an experienced teacher who has taught at the school and in the department for years? They will be your fountain of knowledge, build a rapport with them, if you all work together, your transition will be smooth and you will achieve results.

    Don't worry and keep doing the good job you are doing!!
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Why should you automatically assume older workers can take you 'for a ride'? How about thinking of their experience as a positive thing?
    Older teachers seem to be under threat, according to many posts on this forum. Many they stayed as classroom main-scale teachers because they actually love teaching and are very good at it, and don't want to keep moving schools and climb the greasy pole. Loyalty used to be rewarded.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You should not be negative about the older members of your team. What does taking you for a ride mean? Treat everyone well no matter their age.
  6. Talisen

    Talisen New commenter

    Sounds like a pretty common experience for a new HOD. I would suggest talking to your line manager and coming up with an action plan of what needs doing and when. Once you know what needs to be done you can work out how to do it.
    You'll be fine
  7. RFU85

    RFU85 New commenter

    I totally understand. I am HOD at a new school. I have been HOD for 5 years but just changed school, location (London to Manchester) and I'm finding it all a little daunting. I just feel I am not in control. As other posters have said we just have to ask for help. We cant expect to know everything and it is a case of learning on the job. Unfortunately it is just a case of time .

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