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Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Teacher and Not a Principal (Dear Katie V2 #24)

Dear Katie,

Over the years, people have asked me after all these years of teaching, why aren't I in administration. Sometimes it is because people believe I have the demeanor, ability, and express insights that would make me a prefect choice to assume a role in educational leadership and the compliment is appreciated.

On a few occasions, I can discern from the conversation that the person making the statement believes there must be something lacking within in me that makes me unqualified to be in administration or I have been passed over for advancement like in other fields.

"I mean, you've been a teacher for all these years, 
I was just wondering why you are not a principal by now"

Honestly there are reasons I have not sought out to be in administration:

1) It is not that I am incapable.

2) I will not do it just to increase my salary.  I always wanted to do something I loved for a living.  That is why when I was young, I wanted to be a baseball player.   That didn't work out so I got my second choice.  I teach because I love teaching.  I do not teach for the paycheck.  It would be very difficult for me to do something just for the paycheck.

3) I don't need to be in leadership.  Sadly, there are some people in administration who deal with their insecurities by having to be someone else's boss (and that is in any field of work).  Hope that you never have to work for someone like that.  Thankfully, I currently do not work for anyone like that.

4) Administrators  have less time having a direct influence on youth.  From the ages of 19-34, I worked as at week long church camp for several mostly Presbyterian churches in the NY/NJ area.  At first, I was a counselor, and then I moved into leadership.  Being a director meant I didn't have a cabin full of boys.  What I learned front this experience is that I was one step removed from the kids.  I knew the kids a lot better when I was a counselor than when I was a director.  It's not that I didn't want to know the kids (as if it was beneath the role of a director).  It was I had other concerns to focus on for the overall camp experience (including staff, scheduling, facilities, discipline, etc)  I think the same goes for administrators in schools and you would be surprised with how many friends I have in administration who are quick to lament that they miss the time with the kids.

It is not that I think there will NEVER be a time that I feel there needs to be a switch, especially if the right opportunity avails itself, but for now, I love being a teacher.  I love watching a kid "GET IT".  I love laughing and learning with the my students.

A Content Teacher,

Uncle Kevin


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