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Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by teacher242, Jul 4, 2008.
Nothing wrong with being young and ambitious but think on. If you become a Head by age 30, you could be one for 35 years there after! Enjoy your teaching whilst you have lots of energy. What's the rush? Being a Deputy or Head can age you ( my opinion from getting there too young!). People who have had different careers are often a very refreshing addition to schools and can help keep things in perspective. They often don't need much teaching experience and take to leadership quickly and well. My Deputy came from a City background & is brilliant after 4-5 years in class & more than ready for Headship.
This is a bit like the thread on Personal about the 10 year-old mother . . .
Experience, varied experience, is good. Maturity too - and this is not the same thing as age. But the two things a Deputy really needs can come at any age: a very thick skin and unflagging amounts of energy.
TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
By popular demand! In response to Tessers e-mailing in: another Job Seminar now on Saturday 14th May:
The next Moving onto Leadship seminar is Sunday 15th May.
* * * I´m told that although there´s still 12 days to go, both of these are nearly full, with extra chairs being actively sought. Book soon or lose your chance!* * *
E-mail Julia on email@example.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.
Look forward to seeing you!
Ha...all these posters citing RBS before the big crash - how ironic.
And mustn't forget really modest with it!
I was appointed HT in a school with a role of 220+ at the age of 30.
Are you including HT as one of those 220+ roles or is being Head in addition to them?
(Sorry ... couldn't resist!)
Not on the basis of your spelling...
I feel it is a balance of maturity, ability, and experience that make a good manager. Naturally if someone comes from industry into teaching later they are likely to already have this experience and so advance quicker.
Personally for a teacher beginning their career at around 23 then 35 is probably an "acceptable" age for an AHT or Deputy.
Your point in bringing this thread to the fore was???
I don't mind a revenant thread when it's as interesting as this one! FWIW, I quite liked the distinction between long service and experience. I'm in my 11th year of teaching - I'm an assistant head - and because of the breadth of experience I've had (3 schools as teacher, HOD, attached SLT and now "proper" SLT, as well as an LA secondment) I would say I'm more experienced than the people with whom I did my NQT year and who are still at the same school. (I'm also a career changer, which I think also helps: 5 years in industry before PGCE, so I was 36 when I got my current AHT post.)
But I do think 3 years is too soon, certainly in secondary. You need some time, some proper time to build your craft. I'm suspicious of people who were supposedly "outstanding" from the off - maybe because it took me 3 years to know enough about the business of teaching to really understand it enough to get a 1 myself! If I didn't have 10 years of solid experience under my belt, I wouldn't have felt ready to apply for SLT posts - it would have felt whizkiddy and presumptuous, and I think a small amount of humility goes a long way.
My previous attached SLT role came as a surprise: I'd been doing a good job running my department for a bit, and had a sideline in data, so I was offered it more or less out of the blue. It was only that that made me think I might be ready - sitting in SLT meetings as a co-opted member thinking "I'm not out of my depth! Result!"
When I'd been teaching 3 years, I just wasn't ready, and I say that as a very well-qualified and(sorry) pretty bright person with no shortage of ambition. I don't meet all that many people who completely wipe the floor with me, capability-wise, and every senior leader I've come across who was promoted THAT fast has always been a bit rubbish. Though I'm sure that's not the case with anyone on this thread!
What you tend to find is that people who join the industry fresh faced out of university are desperate for progression.
They graduate at 22 aspiring to be Assistant Headteacher by the age of 25.
2.5 years experience is nothing at all. Can understand if you are fully committed and dedicated to the job and your career, but you haven't experienced enough of teaching to step up into that role. The criteria for an AHT role in a standard/ large school should be 5 years experience minimum and that should really include some keystage/ pastoral/ subject leadership.
What people forget is, they probably won't be able to retire until they are at least 65. From the age of 22, that's 43 years. Plenty of time.
Spend 5-10 years in the classroom, developing yourself, your teaching and seek to take on additional 'middle leadership' roles, then once successful, look at an Assistant Head role, spend about 3-5 years at that stage and then look to progress to Deputy and then to Head if that is what you want.
In my opinion, any person who gets to Headteacher before the age of 35 is destined to crash and burn!
Get the experience! Don't read books or these forums how to do the job, they will give you advise, but only you can do the job. You need to be experienced!
I have seen some people move quickly through and do an okay job, but in reality most SLT positions require a few years to really begin delivering significant impact and you ability to maintain and manage that impact is essential. Will you really be happy at the end of your career with being an Okay DHT/Head, okay isn't good enough for the children I work with. Most people who I have seen go from AHT to DHT in 1-2 years may have done good things but have not had a lasting impact on the school, in effect the cost the school two years of development despite being good at what they do, it takes time to show results and improvements have taken effect. I may be a head one day and if I am I will screen the dedication people have shown to their schools carefully to ensure the staff I get are more focused on the students and outcomes than their next career move, i'd be asking some pretty probing questions to anyone who has done a year or two here or there.
At the end of the day the pure pursuit of being the youngest is an ego trip, this isn't climbing Everest or even being CEO of MegaCorp its job which impacts the lives of young people and in the completion of which will require self sacrifice and dedication which I don't think can co-exist with" the youngest DHT ever!" mentality. I am pretty good at interview, I could probably blag a DHT position this year if I chose schools carefully and didn't mind where I ended up (i'd be 33). In order to do this I would have to leave my current school without delivering on my commitments and that's not acceptable for me. I need to put in a good few years 5+ as an AHT to prove to myself that I not only have the ability but also experience. I have read this thread a few times in my career; could I do it yes, did I want to when I was 22 yes. But, I am a better person now than I was then and, I know that some aspirations are hollow afflictions which once attained hold no real joy and career chasing is like that. True joy is in results day success, that child who really turns it around in the year, the feeling when a class 'get's it', when you stand back from you strategy and see you have improved something, that thank you letter from a student you spent time supporting, when you watch the school music/drama performance of students you have seen flourish and most importantly surrendering to the sacrifices and responsibility the job requires (90 percent of my contentment for life comes from the later, when I don't do it and make the wrong choices I am far less happy)
***That escalated quickly, sorry for the rant I've been thinking about this thread for years on and off***
How do people gain enough experience to pass the interview stage for a senior position if they haven't been teaching that long? My subject is oversubscribed and I have been looking at applying for SLT posts but i am worried I won't be successful at interview stage due to lack of experience in that kind of role. Do you have any tips on what I should be looking for if I were to start applying for higher up positions out of subject? Or what experience I should start to ask for at my current school?
I love the way people are talking about requirements for SLT posts yet in my experience the number of years under their belt hasn't made them any better. They have still put the same pressures on staff in order to tick their own boxes. In fact, the ones with lots of experience have often been the worst as they have opposed new initiatives and are closed to suggestions. Stagnant in their roles.
There's no right or wrong in my eyes. I became DHT at 32 and it was the right time for me. I've learnt a lot over the three years in the post and not done everything right. I'd equate it to football management in that some people do it very young and it works for them and some do it older and it works for them. I'd also say that the best footballers don't always make the best managers and the best teachers don't always make the best leaders.
Obviously SPAG not an issue with RBS
@uselessnerdII that post is from 2008...
LOL, sounds like the worst decision ever.