In response to the post, “Sometimes You Have to Move,” a reader writes:
“I stayed at a job too long once, thinking I would move up. I was passed over once, then twice. When I asked the superintendent why, she conveyed to me that her personal philosophy was that an assistant principal needed ten or more years experience in that role before being considered for principal. I found a principal position in another district the next year.
Another assistant principal who started with me when I was an assistant principal chose to stay in the district, has been passed over at least three times, and has now been in that district as assistant principal almost 8 years. In my current district, I have at least five certified teachers looking for an assistant principal opening. The odds are not in their favor. Even if I hired one of them and not someone from the outside, the others would likely have to wait several more years for another opportunity.
I learned a long time ago that loyalty in a district goes one way; you are expected to give it, but you will almost surely not receive it. If you want to advance, polish up your resume and interviewing skills and get your name out there.”
When I was working on my Master’s, during the first large cohort class (about 300 aspiring administrators) someone asked the Dean of the Education College, “How soon can we expect to be hired as assistant principals?”
He looked us over and said the following, “Twenty percent of you won’t finish the program. Less than half of those who finish will ever be assistant principals. Less than a third of those will ever be principals or high level central office administrators. At most, 2 of you will eventually be superintendents.”
He paused, and then said, “And that is only if you are willing to move.”
Here’s his numerical breakdown: 300 initial candidates; 240 graduates; 100 assistant principals; 30 principals and/or high level central office administrators; 1 superintendent.
As much as anything else, it is a number’s game. You have to do your part, at full speed, to improve your odds. Otherwise, you can easily find yourself on the outside, looking in.
Think. Work. Achieve.