Teaching was a great career, including the overseas ESL
jobs, my music studio, adult night school, and the
public school teaching I did in my Design and Technology
centres and in numerous regular classrooms.
School administration was another matter altogether: I was an elementary "profile vp" for the final six years of my career in education, i.e. not permanently assigned to any school, but instead just placed where an extra admin helper was needed in a school with operational difficulties, for two year stretches. My job was very clerical - I never got over my astonishment that they'd pay me so well to spend long hours doing what a secretary on half of my salary could have done: teacher absence coverages, vaccination and health follow-ups, and chasing students away from our lunchroom program, for example. That bears explanation: we tried to deliver free lunches to the most needy children without singling them out, but some parents didn't want to bother with their own children and lunchtime, or their children begged to stay at school to be with their friends through the lunch hour, so we had a constant struggle to dissuade stay-at-home parents to take their own children at home for lunch.
My considerable experience in technology (D&T or computers), music, curriculum delivery through drama and music, especially for ESL and English, and other areas of strength including finance and budget, all of which were highlighted in my interviews for the administrator role and presumably were the rationale for my selection over other applicants, were never called upon except as I drew on them to fulfill my own adjunct teaching assignments...what a waste. I never got to lead a wider school program in any of those areas.
|In retrospect, I'd have to say that my career as a teacher was terrific; as a school administrator, less terrific. For someone else it might turn out differently, depending on where you work, who you get to work with, and if you don't get stuck in the role of a "profile vp" with a heavy teaching load in addition to a heavily clerical administrative work load. Make no mistake, if you are considering a career in education: the creativity and the joy of human relationships is in teaching, and gets sucked out of your day when you become an administrator. But the career provided me with a decent salary beyond my daily needs (enough to be able to travel extensively as well as to save and invest for retirement); occasional stress and misery, but also emotional rewards, good health and dental benefits, and a pension.|