1. Chris

    This is one of your better blog posts. I have worked in my district for 3+ years and haven’t even seen my superintendent at my school. Small district too.

    I believe people move away from teaching and into higher up positions for a few reasons. First they either can’t handle the classroom and or they don’t like working with children. This is why many higher ups don’t visit schools and when they do, they go straight to the office never visiting classrooms at all.

    • Christopher Halpin

      Actually, I’m not certain I agree with you. I was in the profession for 46 years. I loved teaching and direct contact with the kids. However, I realized that doing the for another 20 years might be difficult. So I became an administrator (Assistant principal in HS for two years, elementary principal for 17). A little unsettling that my last year teaching may have been the best I had. I emphasized putting children first in both jobs and relished direct contact with kids to guide my decisions relative to the school direction. My final position was in Central Office because I wanted to spread what we had learned to other schools. But, I do agree with you that I see too many administrators that sit in their offices in isolation most of their time. I think the good administrator gets to school very early and stays late (thus the higher remuneration) so that the paperwork, etc gets done. Most of the school day should be out in the school interacting with students and teachers. Parents as partners and teachers as leaders: all for the benefit of the children.

      • Chris

        If you taught for a long time and then need a challenge then absolutely moving from teaching to admin makes sense. Granted, there are admin and people at district levels that do visit classrooms and enjoy it. In my examples I am focusing in on those people that never visit classrooms and when they visit schools they go straight to the office.

        School principals used to be experienced teachers. They taught for 20+ years. Now quite a few principals are younger. They have had less than 10 years of teaching experience. The motives of these people I question. They either left the classroom so they can get away from children or they couldn’t handle the classroom.

  2. You can’t build trust with a wave from the doorway on a school tour or from behind your desk.
    How you choose to spend your time as a leader says more about what you value than any policy, program or poster. People will find you if they really need you. Why not have them find you in a classroom, in the hallway or on the school yard?

Comments are closed.