Careers advice from Theodora Griff

1st March 2013 at 00:00

Rapid career progression

I finished my NQT year last summer and am now thinking of my career progression to deputy head and beyond. So my first step: how do I become a head of year?

The pastoral route via head of year is one way of getting to the level of deputy headteacher and beyond. The other way is the curriculum route: becoming a head of department before taking on the responsibilities of a curriculum deputy headteacher and thence to headship.

However, you are somewhat inexperienced to be thinking of applying for head-of-year posts now. After just five terms of teaching you still have plenty of consolidation of practice to do in order to become the really good - even outstanding - teacher that I am sure is your aim. This is vitally important for a head of year, because if a teacher is having problems with classroom management, he may well expect you to show him how to control the behaviour in a lesson so that effective learning can take place. Do you feel confident at this stage in your career that you can do this with the most troublesome classes?

Becoming a head of year will also require you to have strong interpersonal skills so that you can relate effectively to parents, especially difficult ones who may come in and thump your desk. Or even threaten to thump you - it has happened to me. The threat, that is, not the actual thumping.

So work on the quality of your teaching, become a brilliant form tutor and then, in a year's time, ask the head of year if you could shadow him or her, perhaps taking responsibility for one aspect of the job, to get a feel for what it entails. Without the thumping at that stage.

Meet Theodora Griff online on the TES Jobseekers forum or in person at a TES Careers Advice Service seminar or individual consultation. bit.lyuWhqN2.

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