Earlier this month, Andrew Pillow shared his teacher Christmas list, so let’s keep that ball rolling. This school year, I made the transition (some say to the dark side) from teacher to administrator. If you believe it gets easier as you climb the professional ladder, you would be mistaken. The workload increases and you constantly feel like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The rock being administrators above you and the hard place being the teachers you are serving. You cannot please everyone. I believe there are some actions that would make life easier for school administrators. Check out my list.
Time to work at home
Most administrator jobs are 12 months, unlike the 10-month teacher contract. Summer break…what is that? There are many tasks that can be done at home. My husband can work remotely from home two days a week. He gets the same amount of work completed, sometimes more, when he works from home a couple of days a week instead of working at his job during the entire week. During the summer, administrators should be able to work from home a couple days each week. During the school year, having a few hours to work from home would also be great. This week, we had two days where there was a two-hour delay. I got so many tasks crossed off my list.
Better candidate pool
Even before I was an administrator, I was part of interview committees. The teacher candidate pool is not always good. I can’t tell you how many times I have been part of an interview panel and we were choosing between bad…and bad. One time a principal said, “Hopefully, this person will be better than a long term sub.” That is not the standard I want to have when choosing a teacher for my students. Hopefully, issues teachers are facing, such as more compensation, are addressed so we can attract quality teachers.
Not only do teachers deserve more compensation, but their supervisors also deserve more pay. Both my husband and I are administrators now. My salary isn’t anywhere in the ballpark of his salary. We both are working long hours. We both graduated from a great university (Boiler Up!), so why is there such a drastic difference in our pay? Not to discount the important work my husband does to get our state databases going, but I assert what I do is just as, or even more, important. Pay me what I’m worth!
A seat at the decision table
Surprise, surprise, just because you climb the ladder does not mean you finally get to make those big changes you thought you would make when you left the classroom. What’s worse is you are typically the face of implementing directives from above. That means the side-eye, venting session, and complaints land right at your feet. I was just in their shoes, so I get it. Don’t let administrators only be the deliverers of information and mandates; let them influence how they are shaped.
I’m a realist. I’m probably not going to get what I want; however, at least my demands are out here, so there is no confusion about my desires.