It turns out that I won’t be stepping into the Department Head position after all so this is a follow-up post to what I wrote last week. If you missed it, you can read it here. Out of courtesy, I spoke with the current DH, who had been complaining for years that she wanted out of the position. She told me that she was waiting until I was ready, but her latest response made me think twice.
“Why do you want it now?” she asked. “Do you think you can do a better job?”
I was taken aback not understanding this change of attitude. “I thought you were done?” I asked her. “All you ever do is complain about it? Do you want to keep it?”
“Well, I like my free period in the mornings, and the new pay contract goes into effect next fall.”
I give up. She wants to keep the position because of the benefits, and probably the apparent “power”. She informed me that she needed to speak with the principal, after all, he had the final say. “Whatever,” I said. “No big deal.” Educators often complain about not having enough time to do anything, so why keep a position if you aren’t effective or lost the passion?
Later in the day, I met briefly with the principal about my interest. He had explained to me that Ms. DH had already spoken with him. He felt that my strengths were better suited in curriculum rather than management. He told me that Ms. DH was a better fit for the dynamics of the department at the moment because she is still on the outside. (I’m a strong advocate for change).
If I wanted leadership opportunity I was urged to see him about other content area opportunities especially with the transition into Common Core. He also mentioned that if I was interested in administration in the future that being DH was unnecessary for experience. I was relieved. I wasn’t really interested in becoming DH but thought it was the logical next step in professional development.
I’m not going to pursue any more responsibility than what I already have on my plate, but it opened my eyes to other people’s motives and hidden agendas. I have a feeling there was more to their conversation about me, but I won’t fret. This is just another example of behind the scenes teacher drama.
I admit. I am a bit of a “hot head.” I am opinionated, vocal and passionate for what I believe. The principal knows this, and I have not held my tongue when it comes to my opinions of other teachers “who could do more, but don’t.” Some of them are in my own department. It wouldn’t be wise to make me DH for fear that the department will most likely balk at my “official” leadership role rather than just one of them with a big mouth. They don’t like change. I’m way into the 21st century learning styles infusing a lot of technology, while they are still figuring out how to attach files to email let alone incorporate collaboration techniques using Google Docs.
So I embrace this “rejection” as a blessing in disguise. What I dislike is that it made me feel vulnerable, and uncomfortable as if my character came into question. Oh well, have you stepped out in faith lately?
Image courtesy of Lynne Lancaster, rgbstock.com