Administration

I Was a Teacher, I’m Now an Administrator (What I Learned)

I was a teacher before I went into administration, and there are many things that I’ve learned since making this career change.

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I’ve become much better with time management, and I interact with parents and my colleagues a lot differently than I used to. Not only that, but I’ve also become much more aware of how to use technology to make my job easier.

I come to work more prepared

In order to succeed as an administrator, you need to make sure you’re ready for a multitude of situations that could come up on the job.

Here are a few ways that I get ready for my work day:
  • I always eat breakfast, which is especially important since I don’t always have time for a lunch break.
  • I use my phone’s calendar extensively in order to remember upcoming tasks.
  • I get emails that I need to send in the morning ready the night before.

I’m much more aware of the challenges in every job

As a teacher, I didn’t know much about what a workday was like in the cafeteria, as a janitor, or in a secretary’s office. However, I need to have a sense of what everyone’s responsibilities are now that I’m an administrator.

As a result, I’m much more understanding of the struggles of employees, such as these:
  • Schedule changes can make things quite hectic in some positions, such as for cafeteria workers.
  • Secretaries are often exceptionally busy when there are changes to the school’s event schedule.
  • Janitorial workers often have more extensive duties after sporting events which draw a large crowd.

I interact with people differently

As a teacher, I sometimes sent work-related messages to co-workers late at night, which I no longer do. I’m very aware that work-life balance is extremely important to most people, which means that it’s important for me to avoid messaging employees outside of normal work hours.

Also, it has become easier for me to understand the point of view of parents. As a teacher, I mostly only interacted with students during class times and parents during parent-teacher meetings. However, being an administrator has led to me interacting with parents much more often, which has given me insight into the lives of students and their families.

Due to laws on confidentiality, I can’t share most of what I learn from parents with teachers or other colleagues.

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These are a few aspects of the lives of families and students that I have been made aware of since I became an administrator:
  • I’m more aware of the fact that many students have challenging struggles of their own.
  • I understand even more that students have a wide range of family situations.
  • I’m more aware of the financial hardship that some students and their families are faced with.

Being an administrator is a challenging job

As a teacher, I didn’t fully understand what administrators do, and it’s harder than I expected it to be in many ways. The workday doesn’t always end after I go home, which can be true for teachers as well. However, the workload that I’ll have after I go home is a lot less predictable now.

Another difficult aspect of my job is that I have to make a lot of decisions every day, which can get overwhelming. While I worked as a teacher, one aspect of being an administrator that I looked forward to the most was the ability to make major decisions related to the school’s management. However, sometimes I now find that I don’t have very strong opinions about these questions after I leave work.

Also, I have found that there are many more uncomfortable situations that I face on the job than I did when I was a teacher, which has forced me to become accustomed to dealing with these situations. Also, one reality of working in administration is that you won’t always make the right decisions, which has forced me to learn from my mistakes and not let my regrets get the better of me. As time goes on, I will continue to learn new things from my career as a school administrator and change as a result.