In transition: the unexpected moments of a new vice-principal
This research project explores the transition from teacher to vice-principal, focusing on the unexpected moments of the journey. A process of auto-ethnography is used to share the emotional experiences of the first-year transition period by providing first-person and highly personal accounts through both poems and narrative. Keeping in mind current literature on vice-principal transitions, my hope is that this project will add to the current literature while being shared with other educators. My research can be used to provide an insider’s view to teachers considering transitioning to a role as vice-principal or to other new vice-principals to use to compare and reflect on their own experiences. The transition from teacher to vice-principal remains understudied and underrepresented in the literature (Searby, 2016; Best, 2016; Armstrong, 2004). The first year as a vice-principal can be more difficult than that of a first-year teacher. It is a personal and professional transition that leaves the person making the transition with a new perspective on schools and shifts one’s personal definition of their role as an educator (Hartzall, 1994). When we experience hard things, such as transitioning to a new job, our emotions often get the first chance at making sense of an unexpected moment. The process of writing something down and recording our experiences in some way gives us something to hold onto in the chaos of these emotions. We can then later take the time to reflect on, question, and analyze these moments to find meaning and truth, taking control of our own personal narrative and learning from pivotal moments (Brown, 2016). With this project, I hope to own my own personal stories as I write and reflect while I grow professionally following my first-year transition. I hope that through my project I can provide an outlet for others to do the same.