Anyone thinking of making/have already made the move to administration?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by eri444, May 27, 2018.

  1. eri444

    eri444 Rookie

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    May 27, 2018

    Hi everyone,
    I am entering my 9th year of teaching mathematics in a middle school (I have been in the same school since I started teaching). I am not burnt out - there are years (including this year) where I simply love what I do in the classroom and do not want the year to end. There are years, however, though more rare, (such as last year) where I have particular classes that I ask myself whether I want to continue in this profession for the next 26 years (and whether I will have the energy to!).

    There is an administrative program starting in the fall near my district that would be quite a financial commitment and time commitment that would allow me to pursue an educational leadership license. It would take about 3 years, finishing ultimately when I finish my 12th year of teaching.

    I am wondering whether we have members of our forum who have made the move to administration (assistant principal, principal, central administrative positions, superintendent, etc) from teaching? Or even if you have considered the move, what made you do/ not do it?

    If you have moved to administration, do you like it? Do you regret it? Do you miss the classroom?

    Any feedback you could give me would be appreciated and would be very helpful in analyzing my own decisions.

    (I do want to note--I run a private tutoring business that when coupled with my income provides me with a similar pay to an administrator in my district. I would stop the tutoring business if moving to an administrative position, but overall salary would not be a major factor in my move to administration. I know in certain areas the pay discrepancy between teacher and administration can be astronomical so I wanted to make this note. )
     
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  3. Been There

    Been There Cohort

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    May 27, 2018

    Hello eri,
    After seven years teaching several different subjects at the middle school level, I had the same questions and concerns that you expressed. Like most teachers who enter administration, I was attracted by the higher salary and what I assumed would a better route to the finish line (i.e. retirement). So, after earning a second masters degree and a doctorate in school management (at considerable expense), I left teaching to pursue assistant principal and principal positions. I knew that crossing over to administration would require a whole new set of political skills that I didn't possess as a teacher, but had no idea how deep that political pool would be. Hoping to find relief from the stress of the principalship I accepted school leadership positions at inner-city, highly affluent and rural districts as well as one at a U.S naval air station. For me, the day-to-day school operation was a breeze - it was the unrealistic and often unethical demands of my superiors that caused me to reconsider and eventually return to the classroom. Suffice it to say, I could probably fill several volumes of what I experienced behind closed doors. IMO, anyone that tells you how rewarding and enjoyable it is to be a school administrator: a) is not being truthful, b) has limited experience, c) spends the day accomplishing very little or c) works overseas. Of course, there will always be exceptions.

    Finally, I would advise you not to be naive like I was. Don't expect administrators to reveal the challenges that you'll encounter at a particular school or district - they've learned to be politically savvy which means mum's the word. No one will warn you about entering a lion's den or stepping into a snake pit! Also, if you plan to take the plunge, be prepared to give up your ethical values and principles relative to education and social propriety. Most of all, in all likelihood, you will need to replace your own idealistic goals with those that effectively maintain the status quo. As you may have witnessed yourself, administrative actions often do not reflect what is purported to teachers, parents and the general public.

    Although my administrative detour provided much insight into what transpires behind closed doors in our dysfunctional schools, in retrospect I could have spared myself (and my family) much agony, frustration and disappointment by remaining in the classroom to begin with - my circuitous route back to the classroom gave me a greater appreciation for teaching.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  4. Curriculum Chef

    Curriculum Chef Rookie

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    May 30, 2018

    Been There,
    You are so correct. Administration is a lot of politics. It's amazing the things people will do just to keep their jobs and "status".
     
  5. Been There

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    May 30, 2018

    Amazing and utterly predictable! Many school administrators have no hesitancy in eliminating teachers who don't fit their political profile. This is what happens when one has no tenure and must rely on political ties to remain employed. All administrators "serve at the pleasure of the Board".
     
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  6. whizkid

    whizkid Companion

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    Jun 9, 2018

    Oh yes, this is my ultimate goal. As a matter of fact, administration popped in my mind during my first year of teaching. When I looked at our state's pay scale and saw how many degrees it took to just make a decent payday, I knew that I wanted to advance while I'm still young. Also, I look at how administrators in my district are only a few years older than me, so I'm like why not me too? I'll have my administrator license before school starts, then we'll see where it leads, but the testing was the biggest hurdle, got that done nearly two years ago.
     

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