To teach or not to teach? That is the question!


The decision to teach is a decision many head teacher struggle with at some point in their career. Should a head teacher teach? Should they help plan lessons, work with staff to help them improve, and roll their sleeves up at the same time? It’s a hard question. Most head teachers I know do not teach. Often the bigger the school, the less likely it is.

I take the view that all of our Senior Leadership Team should teach across the school year. And we all do! Teaching is a brilliant job, It’s fun, challenging, hard work and the reason I chose this profession in the first place; I love it. So whilst I have too much work to teach some of the time, I make sure at some point each week  every single one of SLT teaches, including myself! Miss Jones and I tend to be found in Years 5 and 6, Miss Castle in Years 3 and 4, and Mrs Shuttleworth in Foundation and Key Stage 1. It’s an important skill we all need to retain if we are to continually improve our school.

9 thoughts on “To teach or not to teach? That is the question!

  1. With the fantastic, resilient children we have at our school why would we not want to be in class with them? As our school vision and ethos states we are ‘Growing great minds together’, every single one of us.

    I believe a headteacher, and the Senior Leadership Team, should definitely be in class teaching, how else can we lead staff to outstanding if we are not supporting them and leading by example. We are quite unique as a SLT in that we always pop into classes, joining in and taking over, which our staff and children are used to. Like you Mr Clucas, I chose to be a teacher to challenge myself and others, continue to learn and have fun whilst doing so and do not want to stop doing that.

    Mrs Jones 🙂

  2. I love going in and out of all the classrooms in KS1 and FS. Keeping in touch with the children and their learning is really important, especially when SLT can often be swamped by paperwork! Our children are always eager to demonstrate what they are learning and clearly have so much pride in their achievements. It is a pleasure to work with them and our staff – to challenge them (and ourselves) even further – and to make learning both fun and relevant. And guess what … sometimes I can even be found popping in and out of the KS2 classrooms to see how my ‘old’ KS1 buddies are getting on !

  3. The title is Headteacher not administrator. To still have the enthusiasm to make a difference in the classroom and to lead the teaching in a school is what every head should do. To be child centred and focussed is the reason for being in education. Being in any size of school should make no difference.
    How can you assess the quality of teaching if you have left the classroom for ever.

    • I agree. Head teachers need to have not just a solid grounding in classroom practice, but also be able to retain the skills they are seeking to develop in others!

    • Exactly Adrian – Head TEACHER! So much is gained from being in the classroom. The amount of information on the children, classes and felling in the school far out weighs the time spent and pays back 10x over in the long term.

  4. I personally think it’s fantastic that SLT get so involved with planning and teaching at Layton and it’s one of the reasons I love working here so much!
    My class really enjoyed having Mr Clucas challenge them and it was a great experience for me to observe the theory that we learn in staff meetings put into practice.
    Miss Garrill

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