Everyone wants to be a leader now

26th January 2007 at 00:00
There is great excitement in the staffroom. An internal promotion has unexpectedly arisen. Suddenly, everyone wants to join the reviled leadership team.

I watch from a distance - such audacity and self-belief.

How quickly things can change. All previous vitriol is pushed to one side as ambition rises up from the pit in which it has been dormant for so long.

Time is no longer passing you by. You haven't got to take a risk by applying to an unknown school. You do not have to put yourself out at all, with the added bonus of a higher salary.

Of course, the money must be nice, but surely there is always a price to pay? Take the job and you have to be prepared to pay for it. Obviously, there are those in the staffroom who are ideally suited to the role, but they are the ones who aren't sure they can do it.

They are the true realists who care for the students and their experience, who want to do their best to make it better. The unwavering certainty comes from the dodgiest ones. After a lifetime of awkwardness and anarchy, they suddenly want to put on the suit as if the past never happened. They haul themselves deliberately from the battered chair in the corner to go in there and sort them out.

Yeah, right.

Of course, every one of them is going to make staff welfare their number one priority. It is so depressing. They are going to protect teachers'

rights. They are going to sort out the workload. Free coffee at breaktime.

It is only a matter of time before one of them promises to paint the staff loo in a pastel hue.

Surely the real purpose of school isn't to service the needs of teachers - it is to serve the needs of the pupils. But it does not stop them presenting the daily experience of their colleagues as only slightly better than that of the dispossessed in squatter camps.

Apparently, we are all heroes and martyrs. It gives me a warm glow. Oh, and every child will be excluded forever because teachers need protecting and the management aren't listening.

Yeah, right.

If the world was full of easy solutions to exclusions or the school budget, then surely a leadership team, in spite of its legendary incompetence, would have implemented them.

It doesn't really make sense to do anything else.

Of course, my colleagues need more than anything not to be appointed. In this way, they can perpetuate their staffroom personae. I knew I wouldn't get it. They were too scared to appoint me. I was too much of a challenge.

Of course, they'll nick all the ideas I gave them in the interview."

Yeah, right.

Me? Don't be silly. I am having such a good time watching that I haven't got round to getting an application form.

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