Head of Dept--Pros? Cons?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Writer's Block, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    Jan 6, 2009

    It's possible that I have an opportunity to be the Head of the English dept in my school next year.

    How many of you are the Chairperson for your dept?

    Pros?

    Cons?

    Thanks in advance...
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 6, 2009

    I was before I took 6 years off to be home with my kids.

    I enjoyed it. I like teaching, and working with young teachers puts a different spin on teaching math.

    I'm not good at correcting adults, but I'm good at problem solving, so that's the approach I took-- that "issues" were merely problems to be worked on together.

    I enjoyed doing it. Sure, it's extra work, but it's still something I would do again.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jan 6, 2009

    I've been department chair for 3 years. I am the department chair for the Middle School and High School, 30 teachers total. I also work with the Elementary School teachers on their Social Studies curriculums.

    Pros:
    I love mentoring new teachers they are so eager to become better teachers. Running our department meeting are also interesting, not including making the department rules/regs and other administrative stuff, is fun. I love the exchange of ideas between teachers and the little disputes we get into. I love our PD days together we get so much done.

    Cons:
    I hate evaluating teachers, I do not like crticizing them, especially the experienced ones. Also being the supervisor of a the teachers you do not get along with can be tough (for me there is only 2 of them, so its not that bad). I also am not big on enforcing the rules that our department made together, even though most of them are followed. I also handle budget cuts which I hate. Handling parent complaints are tough, but even harder when I agree with the parent.
     
  5. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    Jan 6, 2009

    Thank you for your advice. I don't know if anything will come of it, and I haven't decided if I am going to try for it. I will definitely keep this advice in my back pocket...

    ...more advice is welcome from others... :)
     
  6. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Jan 6, 2009

    I'm the department chair too, and yeah it's pretty stressful because I am the social studies department :D
     
  7. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jan 6, 2009

    I am the dept chair for our English department. This is my first year.

    You should probably first find a job description because it sounds like it is different from school to school. My position is really more of a management position, but many schools are replacing admins and giving dept chairs more responsibilities. For example, some people above mentioned they have to evaluate their dept members. I do not do any evaluations and I am not their supervisor in anyway - I am more of a specialist and helper. On the other hand, when I see something questionable, I feel responsible to speak up about it, when before I might have just turned and looked the other way.

    I also like mentoring and working with the other teachers, having more time in the classrooms with them (well, next semester - I was not given any extra planning time this semester), advocating for them on certain committees, and working on district level initiatives with the other dept chairs in the district.

    I was surprised how needy some people in my department are (they asked me to check EVERYTHING - like worksheets and stuff.) and some people don't want help on anything.

    I am fortunate because the person who was chair before me stepped down as chair but is still teaching, so I am able to go to her if I need help with anything.
     
  8. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    Jan 6, 2009

    I will have that luxury too (unless I don't "know" something...), so I feel that I will be fortunate in that aspect.

    Asking for a full description is a good idea. I know a lot of what the job entails, but I guess all of the information is always welcome.

    Thanks for that!
     

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