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Young HoD

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by physicsbang, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. physicsbang

    physicsbang New commenter

    Does anyone have any experience managing people older than them?
    I've recently been promoted and like to think that I'm fairly good at my job. I am managing people who are significantly older than I am and are VERY stuck in their ways which is causing frictions trying to implement change.

    Anyone any tips? - I'm a fairly authoritative person and do take the time to get to know people.....do all HoD's continuously get this much opposition/aggravation thrown at them?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You have to implement change perhaps at a slow to medium pace.

    Get to know the people who you are managing: their hobbies, concerns, birthdays. Put yourself in their shoes. See what you can do to make their working day easier.

    Have an informal team meeting and provide cakes.

    Yes, implement change but take an easier approach.
    ela86 likes this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Age is utterly irrelevant.

    Maybe swap some of the authority for a more collaborative approach? There will be a reason your team aren't coming with you, but it won't be your age.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  4. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    It's the way you approach your job. Are you a LEADER or MANAGER? As HoD, you should be a bit of both. You manage your team and lead them to success. Always involve your team when making decisions. As you say, you have teachers that have been teaching much longer than you have, utilise their knowledge and experience- this will provide you with great self-development professionally and personally.
  5. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    When I became a HoD, I took on a team with all colleagues older than me. Keep talking with experienced HoDs to seek advice. Make use of support from your line manager to give perspective on how you lead.
  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I presume you have been sent on a course for this role? It is a really important thing to do.

    Step one is to survey your department members about your vision for the department. Paper or electronic, ask them about what they see the future for the department. From there, you then build a presentation of the vision with a bit of each one included.

    Really sharply chaired meetings with proper attendance. Work out processes and procedures when stumbling blocks appear. What process should occur if a departmental member is not contributing to whole department ethos of collaborative planning. Put it out there in the meting, invite suggestions, write a policy, send it around with the minutes then strike on the first one who bucks the system by using the policy,

    I currently deal with very awkward, well qualified more experienced peers and it is a constant battle, but policies and processes are your friends. Raise them in meetings, get a consensus and then use it to drive through change.
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    You should not feel threatened. They do not want to do your job. They probably just want to teach and have a life. Value their experience. Listen. If you want to implement something radical you might have to do most of it yourself at first until they can see it works. And after all that is why you are paid extra.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    age is totally irrelevant, it is quite common for the HOD to be the youngest person in the department, due to the fast turn over, and short career span of teachers, particularly the ambitious ones who are good at their job! What ever you feel of the way things are done by older teachers, keep in mind they have developed procedures and tactics that have helped them survive longer than, statistically speaking, you are likely to, and you need to respect that
    slingshotsally, wanet and meggyd like this.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    Yes, look and learn.
  10. JaneyFar

    JaneyFar New commenter

    I think you need to take a less 'management' approach. You are there to be responsible for the department and do the admin etc. People should not need managing in the traditional sense as it comes across as patronising, particularly if you are younger than them. Been there, done that and learned from that mistake (pre-teaching in a different work environment).

    Speak to your team as individuals, learn how to support them and as others have said you need to work as a team. They may seem 'stuck in their ways' but that is probably because they have seen it all before, several times around. They are probably sick of the latest fad, as education is full of it. Try to see it from their perspective and you will probably make your life a great deal easier. I am sure you are very good at your job but try to respect that they are probably very good at theirs too.

    Yes, I know, you have changes you want to make and you can do that. But you need to take time and make them understand the benefits. I went into my current HoD job and knew what needed to be done but realised it could not happen overnight. I have now in my third year and the department is where I wanted it to be. It took 18 months-2 years to get it there.

    You obviously want to do well and have vision, so that's a great start. Best of luck.
  11. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Yes they are your team and you are the leader and a member of the team. I understand you are possibly under pressure from above but that sadly is the middle management role - getting people to do what management want when they do want to.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  12. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    Having a similar trial. It is working with people, but it's also trying to get them to "do something". I've got 7 staff and 2 i'm pretty sure are not pulling their weight. I'm having to document everything(this probably aids their defensiveness, but if they do no work....).

    I'm finding that some in the dept are defensive to the change, all i'm trying to do is to gain data from them and just trying to find out class info is a challenge. I've tried the "this will make your life easier long term" but if i ask for something i have to ask 3 times.

    everyone in the department offers intervention for students after school apart from one, he's UPS 3 and has gained time does nothing else in the dept, Not sure if i can, but I've built into his perf management to aid Key Stage 3 students in intervention in his free time.
  13. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Why are you asking everyone to do intervention? Are your team not performing properly in their timetabled classes? Maybe he is and uses his time to plan and evaluate.this is a prime example of a young Hod told by management to jump and responding with how high?
    BarryIsland, sabrinakat and install like this.
  14. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    not productive to the question(s)
  15. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Sorry but it is. Why do you want everyone to do extra lessons? They have their timetables and if your results are so bad that you need intervention on this scale your first responsibility must be to address the teaching and learning in the timetabled lesson as there must be something major wrong. Why else are you asking them to do this? Have you been told to?
    BarryIsland, sabram86 and install like this.
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    The changes you wish to implement might be 'VERY' bad ideas. Experienced teachers don't need the aggravation of 'friction' for its own sake - it's a waste of energy - so do not assume that you know better than they. Dial down your 'authoritative' approach and consult with your more experienced staff. As an HOD you are not a supervisor in a call centre.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Step back from this. Never punish people for having more experience than you &or for doing their job.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Good for him!
    You cannot insist someone does something in their free time and you most certainly cannot have that in appraisal!

    I am absolutely gobsmacked that you think this is acceptable. And I've experienced naff leaders!
  19. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    I'm not asking, they volunteer for the students they teach. It's for the students, not me or the school

    I and the school have misgivings of some teaching practice, but I'm watching, listening and learning. Where I have concerns in am highlight in them to the staff involved and noting it down so should this come to bite me I have backup.

    It's not trying to be popular or stamp authority, it's trying to do what is best for my students and address poor practice.
  20. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    But he hasn't volunteered and.....? So if it really is voluntary what is the problem?

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