Journey to the Dark Side

I just finished reading Sandy King’s blog post about the 12 things that administrators should remember when they jump from teacher to administrator.  She made many valid points about flipping meetings, supporting teachers, being accessible, and understanding that teachers are doing their very best to do a great job.  This made me think about my own life.

I have started my journey into administration. It is the scariest thing I have ever done in my life.  I know very little about it.  I have worked in elementary schools my whole life and interacted with my administrators regularly; however, I have done very little administrative work on my own. I have sat in on one evaluation and have never scheduled a whole school year worth of events and classes.  I have interacted with parents of many students during school events and had to make tough calls home before but never with the regularity that an administrator has to.

I am used to getting guaranteed preps and breaks to catch my breath and get my mind back on track. Administrators don’t get to pick and choose their breaks. If there is a crisis or a meeting needs to be planned during their designated lunch period they lose that period.  They have to be extremely flexible in everything they do.  That is much harder than it sounds. My time will no longer be my own.

All these things worry me. The fear of the unknown worries me. Leaving my little bubble where I am the king of the gymnasium, the guy who students stand up to fist bump at lunch, the teacher who makes kids want to come to school, is a scary proposition. Turning my back on a job that is so rewarding is brutal.  I wake up every work day and am happy that I have the job I have.  Why am I pursuing a job that I know nothing about where I could fail? Why am I leaving the comfort of my little pond? Is it right? Am I ready? I still have so far to go in my teaching to become a master and now I am going to be judging other teachers? These questions keep me up at night.

The answer to these questions is that I can make a broader impact being an administrator. I can be a role model to many more students at a high school than I can at a single elementary school.  I also feel like I can make a longer lasting change at a high school.  I remember my high school teachers so much more vividly than my elementary school teachers.

It is time for administrators and teachers to come together.  We need to create a culture and climate where teachers don’t think they are being targeted or looking to be caught doing something wrong.  They need to feel that no matter what the situation is they will get the backing of their administration. Administration and teachers need to work together so that people want to come to work every day. I can help make that happen.

There has to be trust created. I do not need a master’s degree to create trust.  All that is needed for trust to bloom is time and consistency.  I feel confident in my ability to work with parents, students, teachers, and other staff in a way that people are comfortable coming to me.  I know that I am able to create relationships with other people in a way that is genuine.

For all the fear and trepidation that I have there is more excitement and positivity running through my body.  This will be a new journey that forces me to use everything I have ever learned in life as well as test my ability to learn on the fly.  I will fall but I will not fail.  I learned from @mathneil that failure only occurs when you stop trying.  I will not stop.

Q1. What is the worst trait an administrator could possess? #slowchatpe

Q2. What is a trait an administrator must possess to succeed? #slowchatpe

Q3. What is your relationship like with your admin? #slowchatpe

Q4. How could administration improve their relationship with staff? #slowchatpe

Q5. What is the scariest thing you will be facing this year? #slowchatpe

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