Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Teacher in charge

Nothing like a promotion to bring in the new year.  One of the stranger structures in the public education system is the Teacher in Charge(TiC).  It's a position between teacher and Head of department(HoD).  The pay rise is minimal, the teaching load the same as a classroom teacher and the responsibility is similar to HoD(albeit not officially).

The main issue with the TiC role is that in many implementations the actual responsibility for traditionally HoD roles lies with team and year leaders, yet little is done by them in this regard as team and year leaders are swamped with administrative and behavioural concerns.  This has caused friction between the TiC and team/year leaders in prior years, as responsibilty is passed around like a hot potato depending on the amount of effort required. In particular, student guidance for non-performance is an area that is often neglected - particularly with students that are passively resisting work (work avoidant behaviours).

Secondly, early in the year, with full load, senior school teachers(the breeding ground for HoDs) are busy bedding down NCOS and small groups, leaving little time for assisting new teachers, examining curriculum, setting up IT structures(such as mathsonline/mymathsonline/matheletics), doing research on best practices (eg. IWBs, Tablets, NC texts, new pedagogy), entering competitions and addressing minor and niggling issues across the department.

TiC is a strange position as it is a promotional pathway to Head of department, which is a large pay rise and includes a reduction in teaching load.  Small schools use TiCs where level 3 FTE is not available for HoDs.  Unfortunately what this causes is a drain of talent from small schools to larger ones as TiC becomes a pathway to HoD - something prevalent in these times, as many maths HoDs are reaching retirement age.  Our school is on it's third TiC in three years.

So, here I am entering the fray of promotional positions, doing the TiC role this year.  It's exciting in that I have increased access to management thinking and can better understand the direction of the school.   The negative is that I am used to senior management positions where robust discussion is a part of the job - my experience is that robust discussion is not always welcome in a school.

Here comes the new year!

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