Your Feedback Needed Re: School Leadership
You’re really my boss?
Honestly, how old are you?
This is so crazy
You must have something I don’t
I sure hope I don’t catch it
I have had a lot of bosses, department chairs and vice principals and such, who have been a good chunk younger than me. Now, I’m not so young, but we couldn’t really say I’m old either…OK…I’m in my REALLY late-30s. In the past five years, four out of six of my direct supervisors have been about 8-12 years younger than me and have had less teaching experience than I have. (This is my fifth year teaching).
They are always a bit cagey about their age and experience. You won’t hear them talking about this or that song or movie from high school. They don’t casually mention the first presidential election they voted in or that they were in elementary school during the first Gulf War. And they don’t talk about their teaching experience AT ALL. Why? Because this would lead to questions. Uncomfortable and unreasonable questions like, “So, how long did you teach?” Oh…now that would be a doozy. A real gotcha question from the peanut gallery.
So, why should this matter to me? (Especially since I would never want their jobs.)
1) Unless you are a truly exceptional talent which, by definition, is not common, you probably do not have the emotional, social or intellectual maturity or experience at age 27-34 to lead, guide, teach and inspire a group of 5-15 people, some of whom have been doing their jobs since you were in 8th grade.
2) I like it when I know my boss can do my job twice as well as I can while half-drunk, blindfolded, and swinging from a trapeze wearing ice-cold nipple clamps. This has not been the case in my teaching experience. I generally do not feel I have a lot to learn from these folks. And I wouldn’t want to see any of them with nipple clamps anyway…just for the record. Yuck.
So, this all leads us to the question: Why are these people hired to be vice principals and department chairs?
Has this been your experience? Or, maybe you yourself are looking to catch the first train out of Teacherville headed to Admin City. Please let me know.
P.S. I was doing a little research on my current VP to try to piece together a timeline. The information I have gathered suggests that the subject is 28-31 years old and could not possibly have taught for more than 3 years. In the course of my research, I also came across the subject’s Amazon wish list. One title on the list was Dealing With Difficult Teachers, Second Edition by Todd Whitaker. I see. It’s our fault because we are difficult. You are not unqualified. We are difficult. And what’s with the second edition? Have there been a lot of recent breakthoughs in this field?