Sunday 23 December 2012


Our department is in a precarious position at the moment. Our manager left suddenly (rumours abound about why, but it is no secret that a lot of the figures for our area were found to be completely inaccurate) and we have an interim manager from another department. She is amazing, and I am enjoying the sensation of having a supportive, empowering manager. The other CL in the department is also on extended leave, so I am assuming some of his responsibilities. I'm realising that, while I am not quite the longest-serving lecturer, I am now the most senior non-managerial lecturer.

Questions were being asked about the department's future, and the Director responsible for our department (among others) asked my manager if I was interested in becoming the permanent manager. The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is hell no. And this is why:

  • I am a teacher. Teaching is what I do. Any managerial position will take more teaching hours away from me than I am comfortable with.
  • We are short of staff. We need more full-time lecturers. And we need more competent full-time lecturers. I have supported students with AS and A2 Chemistry, and AS Physics, in addition to my normal teaching duties. Losing half my teaching hours to management would be disastrous.
  • I left the private sector to get away from days spent peering at an Excel spreadsheet. I certainly don't want to return to that.
  • The £10k extra a year is not worth the hassle.
  • I am unlikely to find myself with a supportive, empowering manager further up the scale, and this will bother me, perhaps to the point of a relapse into the anxiety and depression that has been so paralysing in the past.
  • I'm an aggressive, passionate, sweary mama-bear, and I will do battle for my students to the detriment of my own position. That is not a particularly desirable managerial trait.
  • I do not wish to rise from the ranks and become the manager of my own colleagues. I have no desire to manage my PGCE mentor, or the A-level Coordinator, or the head lab technician.
  • Timetabling seems to be worthy of its own special level of hell, and I would quite like to not have my summers taken up with it.

Finally, when discussing this with Paul, we drew some comparisons between college management and "Game Of Thrones" (which we have finally watched, after months of being told to by my students). Management is a game of thrones, thrusting staff into the line of sight of the Directors, requiring people to play politically or risk being removed from their post. As Cersei Lannister says, "When you play the game of thrones you win, or you die". I have no desire to play the game of thrones. I am, apparently, Ned Stark - best left to be Lord Lady of Winterfell My Lab, and to try to avoid being called to King's Landing for as long as possible, in case I lose my head...


  1. I can lend you the books if need be but you must read the books, I incest!

    1. I like the "typo"... ;) I'd love to read the books, but I don't know when I'm going to have time to do so. I've still got a stack of gardening magazines that I haven't read since October, so I don't hold out much hope for books as long as they are.

    2. They are rather long, aren't they? In other news: that cider worked very well. Garden party for my 28th resulted in one hell of a hangover.


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