Summary: Fulfilling the role as an administrator isn’t always easy but there are steps you can take the first few days to make the change smoother and the relationships stronger.
The transition from one routine to another can be rocky. There are new habits to form and a new way of thinking to embrace. The transition from a teacher to a school administrator isn’t any different. The initial decision to change your career can be scary but the differences between teachers and administrators are small.
After you survive the application, the interview process, and are able to sign a contract, immediately start building relationships. Administrators in any department will transition into a new job better when they are friendly and approachable. Try to learn the names of the staff as quickly as possible by obtaining a yearbook from the prior year. Teachers and other faculty will be impressed that you already know who they are.
Take the opportunity to write a letter introducing you to not only the staff but the community as well. You can share your personal and professional character, your leadership philosophy for school, and any other relevant information. You can draft up several different versions of the letter that cater to different audiences, such as one for the faculty, one for the students and families, one general one for the community.
Make time in the beginning to meet with the different representatives from the school. There is the student council, staff, department chairs, buildings and facilities staff, parent reps, athletics and program directors, and club leaders. Listen and learn about each department. Go into each meeting with some open-ended questions so if you need to fuel the discussion you can, otherwise let the representatives share with you their concerns or highlights.
Develop a big picture plan for the school. Meet with the administrative team and the school improvement team to understand what makes the school unique and where there can be future growth.
Establish a professional and personal support system. The role of an administrator can be challenging but when you have the background of a teacher, you will be able to better relate to the needs of the staff and students. You have the unique ability to create a better relationship between the two parties.
Photo: pioneerinstitute.orgHow to Transition from Teacher to Administrator by Amanda Griffin