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Why did you become a Headteacher?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by panandtilt, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. panandtilt

    panandtilt New commenter

    I'm considering applying for my first headship and I would love to know why you became a Headteacher?
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Why are you considering becoming a headteacher? That's the question!
  3. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    I agree with Marshall.
    Think very carefully, the role is NOT what you think it is!
    J_bird11, nomad and Pomza like this.
  4. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I did it because I ended up acting deputy by default and decided I liked it. So I later went on to headship partly to earn a decent salary and pension. I mostly enjoyed it, was fairly successful and did 15 years. However, the job has changed enormously and job insecurity is also now part of the problem. Would I do it again? Not under today’s conditions. Think carefully and think long term. Can you sustain it?
    panandtilt and Startedin82 like this.
  5. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    My main motivation was frustration - I generally worked for people I respected but always wished / thought more should and could be done. This led me to seek promotion a couple of time eventually leading to Headship. A decision I've never regretted but I have also learned a great deal more about feeling frustrated since I became Head!! Make sure you are a resilient and positive person if you are applying.
  6. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    Maybe you could share what it is?
    I'm considering a move into SMT and I know that there will be aspects I'm not aware of or that will be very different to my perception but very few people seem willing to share what these are.
    panandtilt likes this.
  7. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    It can be a lonely place and the constantly shifting sands make it a challenging landscape in which to work. That said you are in a unique position to create a vision rather than tread someone else's path. Be prepared for what at times feels like a tsunami of things to get done. I'm assuming most new heads go in to fairly small schools with limited leadership structure above class teachers. My advice is ensure you have supervision in place for your first year or two. Others with more experience will be able to offer more insight than me I'm sure.
    J_bird11, koopatroopa and panandtilt like this.
  8. panandtilt

    panandtilt New commenter

    I'm intrigued to know what you think I think it is...
  9. panandtilt

    panandtilt New commenter

    Thanks for your varied replies. Becoming a Headteacher was certainly not on my radar when I first went into teaching but I feel I am in a perfect position to apply for what could be the best opportunity I might have. I work in the school (small), I know the school, the school is currently in a good position both with SIAMS and OFSTED. But... there is room to improve and move the school forward. The staff are great, the children are great and most of the parents are also supportive. We have a well established governing body, with whom I have a good relationship (I am also a governor). I am resilient and I am under no illusions about how difficult being a Headteacher is. There are many elements of Headship that I do not know much about like finance but I'm sure I can learn and we have supportive and knowledgeable staff in this area.
    I think this is probably the closest to my current situation - thanks for sharing.
    koopatroopa likes this.
  10. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    It is not about describing what the role is.

    Everyone is different so the role is different for everyone.

    It is about your expectations of becoming a headteacher and understanding that whatever your perceptions are about the role they are necessarily inaccurate simply because you have never done the role before. It is about how you manage your expectations.
    Pomza likes this.
  11. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    One way of managing expectations might be to ask HTs something about the role and what motivates them.

    It is very hard to manage expectations when queries are met with a cross between Donald Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns and a Masonic ritual that can only be described to the initiated!
  12. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Oh dear koopatroopa, that's so funny!

    It is not about that at all.
    I could describe my motivations and experiences etc but that ultimately won't help anyone. My experiences are of no use to anyone else. It is a catch 22 situation really. I have had a very challenging three years but someone else necessarily won't.

    Well, it's all clear as mud to me!
    koopatroopa likes this.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I often think that's exactly what it will be...
    Or at least it will be when some daft bug ger actually thinks I'd be great as their deputy and appoints me.
    koopatroopa likes this.
  14. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    You'll have to be sure to come back and tell us what it's like!
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    As will you! :)
    Maybe someone wants two of us and we can do it together...As in you can do it all and I'll just smile and pretend! ;)
  16. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    The answer should be 'because I believed I could be a good head' based upon your level of understanding of the role and your ability to manage people that will limit confrontation and excel at getting the best out of the people that should be looking up to you for support, Financial gain or imposing your will on others should not be the main driving factor.
  17. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    You haven't mentioned the children at all!
    Pomza likes this.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    That...as I told my class today...is because schools run much more easily and effectively when there are no children around! :p
    digoryvenn and koopatroopa like this.
  19. dunkiep

    dunkiep New commenter

    I don't subscribe to that at all. I've always said that it's the grown-ups who get in the way...and I last told my class that on Tuesday.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I also often tell them that my dream is to live on an island with no other humans at all!
    Then the blinking kids decide that's a great idea, spend break time drawing such and island and designing shelters for me and others for them. I point out that they have missed the point entirely! :rolleyes:
    digoryvenn likes this.

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