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A Teacher Leader’s Birthday Wish

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Happy birthday to Ariel Sacks of On the Shoulders of Giants, who just turned 30! That milestone has got her thinking about her career objectives. There are issues to consider like further schooling and earning a livable wage (tougher to do when you live in New York City). But most of all Sacks wants a position that doesn’t exist.

I know what I really want—and I'd like it sooner than later. I want the opportunity to take on a hybrid role, where I would teach half a load and use the other half of my schedule for teacher leadership roles. These roles could vary depending on the needs of my school and/or whomever is paying me. They could include developing curriculum materials for my school, mentoring teachers, or creating partnerships between my school and other organizations. I could also participate in policy work outside my school and/or be a freelance writer, where only half of my salary would be paid by a school …
The problem with wanting a position that doesn't exist, is that you can't really plan for it. And that makes me a little less sure of my future than I'd like to be at 30. But hey, just because you can't plan for it, doesn't mean you can't go for it. I'll be looking for ways, and taking suggestions!

Here’s hoping her b-day wish comes true. …

1 Comment

There IS a position like the one described, and it does exist in many schools in NYC and elsewhere. Its called Department Chair and/or Assistant Principal (Supervision Subject area). You teach 2-4 classes in your program which keeps you grounded in the classroom, and for the rest of your responsibilities, you hire and supervise personnel; write curriculum with your colleagues, make policy as you sit on the principal's cabinet, act as liaison with professionals in the larger city/statea/nation/-wide communities. Your salary is commensurately higher too. Check it out!

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