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why is it such a "Do your time before climbing the ladder" culture in teaching?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by groovybob, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. groovybob

    groovybob New commenter

    After a 10 year career in the physics/electronic engineering
    world I decided to finally take the plunge and do what I’d always fancied doing
    but never had the guts to; teach. And have
    been now for 3 years.</font>


    I really feel I have found my niche when it comes to education
    and love the environment.</font>


    I have had experience working in, being managed well and not
    so well, and managing people in big multinational companies across England and
    Europe.</font>


    However I have never seen such a wide range of poor
    leadership skills from first level line managers to Heads of whole school.
    Hours of CPD in my old life involved management and leadership training as well
    as motivational and communication seminars. So now I feel that I could really
    make a difference in schools I work in such positions. </font>





    There seems to be a culture in education that says that the
    only &ldquo;time on job experience&rdquo; that matters is that as a teacher. I am being
    told by &ldquo;senior&rdquo; people that I have to wait my turn to have a go at management
    positions. In the mean time I have to watch as numpties with little or no
    leadership qualities &ldquo;lead&rdquo; me. </font>


    I took such a plunge in the way of pay cut and risk to move
    from my old career to teach should I now feel bad that I want to move out of
    the other side to Leadership ASAP </font>





    What is it with not being taken seriously for leadership
    roles until I have had 3-5 years IN CLASSROOM experience? When I could be doing
    the personnel leadership thing so much better than some of my seniors!? </font>


     
  2. groovybob

    groovybob New commenter

    After a 10 year career in the physics/electronic engineering
    world I decided to finally take the plunge and do what I&rsquo;d always fancied doing
    but never had the guts to; teach. And have
    been now for 3 years.</font>


    I really feel I have found my niche when it comes to education
    and love the environment.</font>


    I have had experience working in, being managed well and not
    so well, and managing people in big multinational companies across England and
    Europe.</font>


    However I have never seen such a wide range of poor
    leadership skills from first level line managers to Heads of whole school.
    Hours of CPD in my old life involved management and leadership training as well
    as motivational and communication seminars. So now I feel that I could really
    make a difference in schools I work in such positions. </font>





    There seems to be a culture in education that says that the
    only &ldquo;time on job experience&rdquo; that matters is that as a teacher. I am being
    told by &ldquo;senior&rdquo; people that I have to wait my turn to have a go at management
    positions. In the mean time I have to watch as numpties with little or no
    leadership qualities &ldquo;lead&rdquo; me. </font>


    I took such a plunge in the way of pay cut and risk to move
    from my old career to teach should I now feel bad that I want to move out of
    the other side to Leadership ASAP </font>





    What is it with not being taken seriously for leadership
    roles until I have had 3-5 years IN CLASSROOM experience? When I could be doing
    the personnel leadership thing so much better than some of my seniors!? </font>


     
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    If you wanted to come into teaching for the leadership side of things, then why didn't you just stay in your previous job where, presumably, you were in a leadership role?
    Your post does, though, give reasons as to why you are not being moved into that direction.
    Quite amusing really.
     
  4. groovybob

    groovybob New commenter

    <font size="2">That&rsquo;s not what
    I'm saying. I am loving being a teacher for the most part, the challenging
    students included. I am however often finding myself utterly demoralised by
    weak leadership. </font>



    <font size="2">I see where people have come out of university and initial teacher
    training as a bright eyed early 20 something and after the due time served move
    in to leadership roles without significant leadership skills or training. So
    they hash along the best they think they can following examples set by equally
    inept predecessors, never making any effort to open a leadership book, attend a
    seminar or study how leadership can be used to empower people beneath them.</font>



    <font size="2">I see far too many people scared of bright sparks coming in to the
    ranks behind them (I don&rsquo;t just include myself in that) because of latent
    insecurities they then proceed to do their best to shoot down any proactivity
    or positivity in protection of their own back. Resulting in departments in turmoil
    and staff just doing the minimum to keep their noses out of harm&rsquo;s way</font>



    <font size="2">A good leader should be encouraging any positive proactive
    enthusiastic member of their department to make the department or school shine
    on the whole rather than worry about being out shone.</font>



    <font size="2">It&rsquo;s the idea of synergy
    where a paradigm of interdependence is cultivated. Or in simpler terms, where
    the whole is greater than the sum of its parts due to strong management / leadership</font>

     
  5. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    If you want to work as a leader there are other careers which may be better suited than education, particularly if you have experience
    Hands on experience is not vital for leading staff but it is for leading learning. In a promoted position you need to be a good classroom practicioner before any advice you give will be taken seriously. You may be an excellent leader of men but that is not all education is about. I am sure that in your previous industry you would not have started aty the top.
    Your previous experience should help you move up the ladder faster and if you have now taught for three years you are probably ready to start moving up. I would suggest that you look for a job in a new school as each school is run differently and you will gain a broader view of schools which will also help you move up.
    It is possible to move up the career ladder quickly; at one of my previous schools (secondary) we had a Deputy Head who was 30 and had only been a teacher for 8 years
     
  6. I don't recognise what you are talking about either. The more inexperienced the better in most of the schools I know of. Your issue is more likely that you are older than 25, and agism is a big factor is schools.
     
  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    There is very little credibility in education towards people who cannot lead by example. A good head of department, deputy headteacher and headteacher is someone who has excellent discipline, is in touch with what students and staff think and know the reality of marking piles of books at the end of your day, writing reports when you've finished marking the books, and after that planning your lessons for the next day, during which inevitably you will need to cope with the technology not working, the queue for the photocopier, the detentions, the phone-calls home, the bottom sets, the tutor group, etc.
    I have yet to work somewhere where there isn't a head or deputy head who has so little or non-existent teaching duties that they have completely and utterly forgotten the reality of a teaching-load, and who thinks asking someone to "get back to them by the end of the day" or "read this email in the next 4 hours" is perfectly feasable. In an ideal world all managers would go back to the bottom of the food chain for six months every five years to keep their feet on the ground, but that is not possible.
    I don't agree you should wait forever, but I also disagree that previous experience can bypass experience in the teaching environment - as others have said it is a different ballgame. Three years is about right to go into middle management, then perhaps another five for senior management.
     
  8. Depends where you are - I had a head of department role as an NQT - in a high performing school - 2 terms in as they saw that I could clearly cope - I had a mentor and it was initially on a 12 month contract - to be reviewed -9 years on I am in same position with a thriving department and outstanding results.
     
  9. groovybob

    groovybob New commenter

    Good to know that it happens Leviosa

    I'm also in the process of arranging a post grad Masters to bolster my profile.

    and like you I was seen to be able to cope early on but instead of promotions I was given 3 nasty Yr8 groups to kick in to shape in my first year. which I did i'm proud to say!!



    ................ are you sure you didn't "Leviosa" your way up!!??
     
  10. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    He he, that's exactly what I was thinking!
     

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