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Why be a Head teacher?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by dizzymai, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. dizzymai

    dizzymai New commenter

    Go on persuade me. Or not. I'm 50. Been teaching for 10 yrs. In SLT. Before that I raised 3 children, worked as a school librarian and in a pastoral role in a special needs school.

    A job I consider to be absolutely what I am looking for has come up and I believe I have the skills. But I am a bit scared. Because the role of Headteacher looks so scattered and multitasking and stressful.

    Is it worth it? You hardly ever hear about the positive side of being a head. What qualities are key to success?
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Oh - where to start! It is worth it but only if you are strong and have broad shoulders. You also need to have an absolute focus on the children and their learning and improvement AS WELL as the staff in your care - their improvement and development also,
    Days fly by, it's never boring BUT - you must be strong - it's all down to you. You need to be able to deal with problem children, problem parents, problem staff, problem governors.
    You need to be able to create a team and work with that team/fall out with that team/cry with that team/celebrate with that team/love and hate that team/love and hate yourself/be prepared to say sorry.
    You also need to be very strong and only do what is best for YOUR school / keeping within the statutory government requirements as well as ignoring others that aren't.
    I haven't mentioned parents/governors/yourself.

    Would I do it again - absolutely.
    Would I change anything - the government and their interference; the lack of budget to do what is necessary for the children.

    Sorry - I don't want to put you off BUT you must go into this pivotal and valuable role with your eyes wide open.

    Others will probably disagree with me - that's life and you can never please everyone and as long as you accept this then you should be OK..
    mms1, Pomz, Jesmond12 and 1 other person like this.
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I wrote this after having a terrible day with me crying with 2 teaching assistants (who are a valuable part of the team) - me and them over a staffing issue combined with a parental problem. I asked for their help and they came up with the goods. We have worked together for 14 years and I trust them implicitly.
    sabrinakat and dizzymai like this.
  4. Skychaserhigh

    Skychaserhigh New commenter

    Couldn't agree with Mashall more.
    Be prepared as the job is so dissimilar to being a class based teacher it is frightening!
    It is hugely rewarding.
    It is all about making a difference to every child.
    It is about shouldering, and shielding your staff, from a lot of the red tape bull.
    It's about sticking to your principals, but also being able to admit when you are wrong.
    It's about accepting that you will never please everyone.
    It's about seeing a school work together to provide the very best education.
    It's about working with a huge range of people from a variety of settings, some will be great, some won't!

    I love it!
    dizzymai, Jesmond12 and Marshall like this.
  5. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Thanks Skychaserhigh - I wasn't sure whether I'd put anyone off! It's good to hear that I'm not alone in this.
  6. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Al of the above. But do I miss it now that I have retired? Absolutely not.
    Marshall likes this.
  7. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    The lord alone knows!

    In all seriousness, the difference you can make to so many small lives but..... It's a thankless job where there will always have a queue of numpties ready to tell you how sh*t you are. If you're ready for that then go for it.
    digoryvenn, Jesmond12 and Marshall like this.
  8. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Ladykaza -totally agree! You need to be ready to stand up to them!
    digoryvenn likes this.
  9. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Lots of wise words and obvious experience in the preceding posts. If you do decide to jump into the abyss of headship be prepared for the sense of free fall and conscious incompetence in your first years. Marshall always hits the nail on the head as is bang on as usual. Accept that your feet rarely touch the ground and that your working day is 12-13 hours. If this is something you are prepared for (and all the rest) then go for it; it is varied, exciting at times and when you hit a seam of success there's no better reward. Celebrate the wins but don't beat yourself up when it's hard (that's often in my experience) Perhaps my opinion isn't as valid as Marshall's and other more experienced heads as I'm in my first year and feeling my way through the labyrinth of leadership.

    Good luck and if you do jump in this forum can be a great place for honest advice.
    Marshall likes this.
  10. Northhead

    Northhead Occasional commenter

    Not sure where my post went...
  11. Northhead

    Northhead Occasional commenter

    Anyway what I did say was...

    You have to the hind of a very, very large rhino. Staff, governors, parents will feel that they can say what they like to you, however personal or bluntly, because ‘you’re the head’. Unfortunately you can’t be as direct back! People seem to forget you have feelings too and the lows can be very, very low.

    Also job security these days is a concern. Could you afford to live if you lost your job?
    digoryvenn likes this.
  12. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    And there's the constant round of inspections - when, despite improving things massively, you still get told the school requires improvement. Yet our children do better with us than the outstanding schools down the road! Grrrrr.
    digoryvenn and Northhead like this.
  13. Nowayout

    Nowayout New commenter

    Well I've just read this thread and couldn't agree more!

    After having done it for over a year, I'm still continually reflective and staggered at how different the role is to teaching.

    I was a little naive in this regard and still haven't grown the rhino skin required but it is developing!

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