My wife recently completed her certification work to become a campus administrator in Texas. That got me thinking about how jobs are advertised in school districts.
Most of it is pretty bland, non-inspiring and well, not actually sure designed to inspire the potential candidates.
Imagine you are looking for a job as an elementary principal or assistant principal and you see this as the job description:
The position of Elementary School Principal requires a Master’s Degree; valid Administrative, or Principal’s Certificate; leadership ability in working with teachers and students in instructional and managerial administration; working knowledge of curriculum and instruction; the ability to evaluate instructional program and teaching effectiveness; the ability to manage budget and personnel and coordinate campus functions; the ability to explain policy, procedures and data; strong communications, public relations, and interpersonal skills; three years of related administrative experience in education to include at least two years assistant principal experience (for a person who has not previously served as a principal); three years experience as a classroom teacher.
Pretty standard huh? A list of what you are expected to do as an elementary school principal. Nothing in that description MAKES me want to apply for that job. Pretty standard. Pretty boring.
Now, imagine of you came across this job description for an elementary school principal or Assistant Principal in another school district that read like this:
Our district is doing some really exciting things and we want you to be part of it. This position is for an elementary school that is in a well established neighborhood with about 800 kids. (Hey, want to know the demographics of the school? Click here. Check out the campus test data here.) We think that a good leader can make this campus go from good to great and beyond. Are you that person?
As you can tell from the demographics and scores, there are some challenges to be met, but this school, with these teachers and these kids, deserve a great leader. Maybe you are that person. We are looking for someone that has the following qualifications: The usual stuff like an administrator’s or management certification and experience as a teacher and maybe as a campus administrator. But we want more than that.
Of course anyone can get a certification. What we really are looking for this: Someone that has the ability to lead teachers and students and be a real instructional leader, not someone that just says they are a leader. Someone that knows what kids need to learn and what teachers need to teach and how best to match the two.
Someone who also loves learning and can share that love of learning with their staff. Of course, you will have some money, so you will have to know how to wisely spend it. What will be your budget priorities? We want to know before we hire you. Can you communicate well? Great! Because you are going to have to explain what you are doing not only to your staff, but to parents and the community. We also like to hire people that can get along with others, because hey, our district is a big family, and we need to all keep in touch.
Tell us that you have some innovative ideas, because if you don’t we really don’t need to talk. We like people that will take chances (to a point of course) and will back you up with professional development opportunities for you and your staff.
Like we said, we are doing some awesome things in our district, and want to surround ourselves with the most awesome educators we can.
Are you awesome? Then you need to apply.
I wonder if a school district put out an ad for that, what kind of response they would get? Imagine of every singe job posting that district posted exclaimed how exciting it would be to work in that district? Which district would get the brightest, innovative minds?
Which place would you want to work for?
Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.
Feel free to leave a comment. Read his previous columns here.