Is the Next Step in My Educational Career To Become Department Head?

For years, my colleagues have encouraged me to step into the role as English Department Head. I have declined, avoided it, dodging the position for sanity’s sake.

I’ve always used my young son as a reason, but it is no longer an excuse. I don’t like using my single-parent-ness as an excuse, because it had nothing to do with it. Bottom line is, I was always chicken. There comes a point in any career where change is needed, something new has to happen in order to keep going or else burn out occurs … or something like that.

Let’s go that way!

There is a certain responsibility in leadership that occurs when stepping into such a role. I’ve been leading from the second chair for a couple of years now, providing my support with my opinions and suggestions.

Whether it was well-received or not didn’t reflect on me because I was never fully responsible. At the same time, I tire of the mediocrity and incompetence I find in current leadership.

B*tchy much?  Yes, I suppose that lacks humility but it’s not that I think I can do a better job. I know I can do my share to lead the department to where it needs to go next for the benefit of our students.

I have had my share of arguments, heated discussions (fits and tantrums) with coworkers, but I was always at a safe distance because I hid behind the facade of not really caring what others thought of me. Deep down, I hate working on my flaws. I don’t do it to please others. I’m not a people pleaser. I do care, however, what  my God thinks of me.

All the ugly in me gets exposed;  I’m a very opinionated person, impatient and verbal. I push for change when others aren’t ready and it’s not fun when you aren’t liked as a result. So stepping into a position like this is more of a challenge that will grow me as a person both professionally and personally. I feel as if I am taking this giant leap of faith because I have avoided it for so long.

I tell friends and family that as a teacher, I love working with students. I have no problems working with teenagers, it’s working with other adults that I can’t stand, (especially when I think their opinions are stupid). See? I at least know that that attitude needs changing. I will work on listening to others without judging. I will also learn to hold my tongue.

Working with parents definitely has its share of concern, but when it comes to working with other teachers, I know I need another set of skills that could be better developed.

Do you have any advice that can help me when it comes to working with other adults?