Potential career change

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by callmebob, Jul 14, 2010.

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  1. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I am going into my 4th year of teaching this August but have been considering going back to school for Administration. I have gone back and forth about this idea.

    I would like some feedback from other teachers. What do you see as some pros and cons?
    What do you think it takes to be a good Principal?
    Any other comments would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    No love, no comments, nothing. Wow, I am really stressing over this I am really thinking about applying to start the program in January, but I am hoping to get all of the facts and any ideas from people that I can before then.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sorry, it's been hectic today.

    To be honest, I think you would have a bit more credibility as an adminstrator with a lot more teaching experience under your belt.

    It's hard taking direction from someone still learning the ropes of education.
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Well I have been teaching for 3 years, If I start the program in January that would take another 2 years. So at the minimum I would need to put 3 more years in as a teacher. My thought is that if I could get a Deans position while I am in the program that would make the transition smoother. I would not expect to go straight from teacher to Principal.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I had been teaching 12 years before I was made chairman. I had taught every course in our building except Math 7, Math 8, and Intro to Calculus. (And I picked up Math 7 and Calc in subsequent years.)

    I had developed the curriculum for 2 courses from scratch.

    When I observed a teacher and made recommendations, they knew that I had been in their shoes and that I knew what I was talking about.

    Ask Brendan about his experience before becoming AP this summer.

    I'm not talking about what you need to be elligible for a job. I'm talking about the ability to do the job well, and to earn the respect of those you're supposed to be guiding.

    I've been teaching since 1980. Can I learn some things from a teacher with just a few year's experience?? Sure. I learn from everyone. But would I expect him or her to be someone who could guide me when I needed help? Probably not.
     
  7. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I have my administrator's certificate and I can tell you that you'll have enough years in as a teacher. It's tough landing a spot, however. Administration is more of a "It's not what you know, but who you know" proposition than getting a teaching gig is.
     
  8. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Well I know I don't want to teach for that much longer. The sooner I can find a way out of it the better. I actually think that I would make a better Principal than teacher.
    I understand the aspect of it being who you know. That is why I am going to try and start this year "trying" to change the way I approach things, gotta try to work in a better leader personality. That way the people I know will see me differently.
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    This is just so sad . . . you are looking for a way out of teaching. This is the reason you want to be a P???!!! A way out of teaching??!!
     
  10. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I never intended to stay in teaching for an extended period of time. I have realized that I it isnt exactly what I was hoping for as well. I don't want to stay in the classroom, I recognize that. I am not bad teacher, there are things I am very good at with the job. But yes, I have been trying to figure out what my next career move would be and this is what I am looking at pursuing.
    Also, any career move I make I expect to be making more money. Administration does make more money.
     
  11. MissJill

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    Get out while you can, don't waste another year somewhere you don't want to be. It's not good for you and it's not good for those kids either.
     
  12. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I am good to the kids. My class did outstanding this past year. I enjoyed them, they enjoyed me, they learned a lot. It was a successful year. Do I look forward to doing something else, of course. But this is what I am qualified to do, this is what I am good at doing right now, and this is what I get paid to do.
     
  13. MissJill

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    Your posts just make it seem like you are counting the days till it's over. I just think when it gets to that point you're better off getting out. It's not supposed to be a countdown until you're done.
     
  14. TeacherApr

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    wow.... a strong and solid teaching background as well as a positive attitude towards teaching makes a good Principal! If you hate teaching then more than likely you will be bringing that across to your teachers which will make for a miserable environment for everyone....
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    No, I never said I hated teaching, I dont hate it. That is a strong word. There are definetly parts of it I enjoy. I just want something else, something more.
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm going to be honest, Bob, and though it sounds hateful I don't intend for it to: After reading several of your posts, I would be outraged if you became my school's principal.
     
  17. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have to ask why you would say that?
    I look forward to having the opportunity to work with teachers and do anything and everything I can to make their job easier and more effective.
     
  18. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Don't go into administration if you hate teaching. It's just a never ending cycle. If you don't like teaching quit and find a new job. Honestly, if you're not a good teacher, you're not going to be a good administrator. As an administrator you're going to have to deal with both students, parents, and teachers. You are going to have to guide your teachers in terms of curriculum and to do that you need to be a proficient teacher in some area or another. Also most Assistant Principal Jobs in my area require at least 7 years of teaching experience. I know you would not be hired in my district unless you were an experienced TEACHER. Don't think of administration as a way out of teaching. It's not it's just an extension of teaching. If you don't like spending a lot of time on your career, outside of contracted hours do not go into Administration. I spend so much more time at the school now than before. I am here Monday-Thursday in the summer and during the school year the other APs and I are the last ones to leave. If you can't give teaching all you can, don't go into administration. If you can't go above and beyond teaching, don't think you'll be great administrator. It is so much work.
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I had a Principal who had very little teaching experience. He became Principal at a junior high and was doing a terrible job so the district moved him to our elementary school. He destroyed our school, created a horrid atmosphere. He listened to our concerns, but never followed up on them, had no clue why we were doing things the way we were, it was just a mess. I ended up resigning. Now I am back under the leadership of a new principal who had taught for years. She may be struggling to understand her new role, but because of her former experiences as a teacher, she understands our positions, our passion, our reasoning, etc. When she makes comments about our classroom, about our lesson plans, about our activities, etc, they make sense because she had to do all of that before, and for years. She knows exactly what teaching children of all ages is all about. I've worked with MANY principals and the ones who were rotten had about less than 5 years teaching experience (just an observation). So, a few more years of experience as a teacher won't hurt!!!
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Because of almost every post you've shared with us so far. You can barely keep up with thirty-five progress reports and all you have to do is send them out, so I don't know why you feel confident enough to, basically, be accountable for hundreds of students' information. You avoid phone calls like the plague. You seem sooo unenthusiastic about teaching...not that you need to do cartwheels each morning, but I get a pretty blah vibe.

    You said a "big" reason for you going into adminstration is the "major jump in salary" and that concerns me when coupled with everything else you've shared.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Dont you think that anyone who is a Principal wanted to move up and out of teaching at some point. If they were completely in love with the classroom and teaching, wouldnt they have stayed there?
    I know in my district you qualify for a Deans position after 3 years of teaching. That is also the minimum to be a Principal. I don't believe that you have to put in 15 years in the classroom to be good at being a Principal. I don't know that I want to spend 15 years doing any job. I was never going to be a lifer in the classroom.
    Again people keep acting as if I hate teaching, and again I never said that. It seems you guys take offense to the idea that I want to move out of the classroom. What is wrong with wanting to move on to something else?
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nothing wrong in wanting to move on to something more. I think that some of the concern is that you don't yet have a wide variety of classroom experience (and I don't think that you hate teaching). In my school board, in order to go through the "process" of moving into administration, the candidate must have a variety of teaching experience in all divisions (i.e. K-grade 3, grade 4-6, and grades 7-8), as well as experience in a position of added responsibility (e.g. grade level lead). It is sometimes difficult for a candidate to obtain this varied experience in a short period of time. Very often, negative comments that I hear about administrators have to do with the fact that teachers feel that they are out-of-touch with what is going on in the classroom. I know that I want my administrator to fully understand, and relate, to the difficulties that I face with my students every day.

    I wish you luck in whatever path your career takes.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nothing. But you seem to want to escape. Again, if thirty-five progress reports are difficult to manage and you avoid calling parents, why would you even want to become a principal? That increase in pay comes with an increase in responsibility.
     
  24. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Thank you for the positive comment. The idea that a Principal would need different grade level experiences is a rough one for me. I have been in the same grade level and don't really intend on changing. I would like to be team lead, but to me at our school or maybe just my team, this position is mostly just a messanger.
    I understand the out-of-touch comment. That is a big reason why I want to be a Principal, to be able to help teachers with things that they really need to make teaching on a day to day basis go smoother. I really want to be able to help other teachers. In the position I have now, it is extremely hard to get my ideas to be utilized.
     
  25. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I understand that with more pay comes more responsibility. Some of you guys probably think I am one of those teachers that only works during contract hours and leaves as soon as I can. That is far from the truth. I am usually one of the first 5 cars there and one of the last 5 to leave.
     
  26. MissJill

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    If you are not one of those teachers, I apologize, but your comments definitely imply that you are.
     
  27. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Having a small handful of years in one grade level, you wouldn't have the skills necessary to help all of the staff. How would you address concerns from your kinder teachers? You move up through the ranks of the school system after getting a wealth of knowledge from each position. You can't have a wealth of knowledge after 3 years, or 6. I have 6 years and I am still learning and getting new ideas. I have been on the leadership team, I taught intensive intervention, and I have been on every committee that my school has at least once. I have been teacher of the year, and teachers from several different grade levels come to me for advise. I am still not "qualified" to be a P. I have some experience in 2nd grade, but that's it for the lower grades.

    When we got a new AP, most upper grade teachers felt cheated because she had only taught K. She taught it for many many years, but what is she going to do to help me with 6th grade math???? Do you understand?
     
  28. ku_alum

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    This sounds harsh, but I wouldn't want to work for a P that didn't enjoy his/her time in the classroom.

    -----

    Typed the above before reading all of the thread, read somewhere that you do enjoy teaching ...

    So, nevermind.
     
  29. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Don't you think some people could make better Principals than teachers. Some people are born to be teachers, they are amazing at it, they love it. That is great, it is good to have teachers like that. Many of them will never have a desire to be a Principal. Some of the best teachers at my school I have spoken to about this, they have zero desire to move into administration. Some of the teachers seen as leaders at the school, they have stated they have no desire to move into administration.
     
  30. Brendan

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    Most of the principals I know still love teaching. In my building all the administrators teacher. I don't think you hate teaching, but it looks like to me you lack the dedication and committment needed to be a good administrator. If you are overwhelmed by progress reports, you are in for a rude awakening as an administrator where you have to do LENGHTY evaluations for each one of your 100 staff and you have to do standardized test reports which have to be 25 pages long. We are TEACHERS first. You're not going to be hired with four years experience as a classroom teacher, wait another 5 years, and then try.
     
  31. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I am not looking to be hired now. I am strongly considering starting the program. It would take another 3 years from now before I would have the degree to be a Principal. I would love to get a Deans position within this time, if not, get a Deans position after I get my Masters in Leadership. Then wait for a Principal opening.
    It is a process that I would have to get started. I dont want to wait 10 years then decide to do a program, that is just more years waiting. If you figure out what you want to do, why wait. I think I am good at my job, but I want more than to just be good at my job. There is more I want out of it.
     
  32. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    It wouldn't be 10 years of waiting, it would be 10 years of learning.


    After ONLY 3 years, you haven't gotten enough out it yet to yearn for more IMHO. If you are already looking for a way out, then you aren't getting anything out of it. By stating, "the sooner I find a way out of it, the better" leaves a really ugly taste. I cannot imagine someone with virtually no experience, and zero passion for the job to do a very good job in admin.
     
  33. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have to ask, what are you suppose to get out of it?

    Also, three years of teaching, is not virtually no experience. My first year I had no experience. Now I feel as if I am on par with all other veteran teachers at the school.
     
  34. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Where would you be applying for a Dean's position? In my area, the only schools that have Deans are middle and high schools. What in your experience as lower elementary teacher would make a school want to hire you as a Dean? Deans deal with tons of paperwork, calling parents, working with teachers and of course dealing with students. What skill set would you bring to this position?
     
  35. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    :dizzy:
     
  36. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Dean of Students and Assistant Principal are interchangable. The elementary schools have them, its not required to have extra certification for that position either, better, but not required.

    I understand that the AP does a lot of paperwork, I am fine with this idea. Calling parents, no I am not great at that part, but every job is going to have some piece that one isn't thrilled with. Working with teachers and "dealing" with students as you say, I look forward to the opportunity to do so in that type of position. I also know that AP's have to deal a lot with discipline and working with students one on one in related situations. I am great with students one on one, being able to relate to students is one of my greatest strengths.
    As for teachers, every teacher is different and I think it is important for administration to be able to know them and relate to them in different ways. Blanket statements and ideas don't work for everyone. This does not mean having an "individual plan" for each teacher, but simply knowing them individually can be very beneficial. I would want to create an environment where it isnt teachers vs. admin. like I have seen many schools be. There is a way to have the environment be so that they are all working together.
     
  37. callmebob

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    I know what I get out of it. I was curious as to what YOU meant by getting something out of it.
     
  38. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    About half of the teachers at my school have 4 years of teaching experience or less. There are only a few teachers at the school with over 10 years of experience. Those teachers, from what I know, have no desire to move into administration. Administration needs people who can be good leaders, people who have good ideas, people who are willing to take a risk. Experience is great, but as with any job, the best way to learn how to do a job is simply to do it. I can get all of the experience I want as a teacher, that is mostly going to help me be a better teacher. I can take the knowledge I get and use it in admin., but it wont guarantee me being great at that job.
     
  39. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    The point is, you don't seem to be getting anything out of it because you are desperate to leave the classroom. The fact that I have to spell it out for you, emphasizes the point that you are in the wrong field.
     
  40. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I get something from the job, I enjoy the students, I take pride in what my students achieved academically and socially this past year. I also enjoy helping my fellow teachers out. Don't tell me that I don't get anything out of it. Are those reasons enough to make me want to stay in the classroom for an extended period of time, honestly no.
    If I am good at my job, then I am not in the wrong field as you say. Why I am in the field does not make it right or wrong as long as I am good at what I do.

    And I reiterate that I see all teachers at my school that are atleast not first year teachers, as equals. There are many times where I see more veteran teachers getting ideas from younger teachers, why because we all have ideas and thoughts that are beneficial. We are equal all trying to do the same job.
     
  41. TiffanyL

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    Hey Bob,

    I think you've just gotten a taste of what it will be like in the real world of admin.....the teachers will eat you alive if given the opportunity. :lol:

    If ANY teacher feels like you are leading their school because you wanted out of the classroom or because you wanted a big salary, they will view that as a direct insult on them and the passion that they are expected to have for this career. They have to trust you and your intentions in order to put forth their best effort, their best work.

    Take this as a first lesson towards shaping yourself into a quality, experienced admin. And, if you truly want this career, you should consider switching grade levels (I know you said you didn't want to) and gaining experience in as many grades as possible.
     
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