“You don’t have enough experience”. Those were 5 words I was tired of hearing as I pursued my administrative career. How was I supposed to get experience if I was never given a chance??

So as any defeated young professional does I sulked and whined to my husband and current principal who were the two biggest supporters as I “pursued my dream”.

Reazur Rahman // Noun Project

Their advice…
pretend you are an administrator. Talk, act, and model what I feel encompasses best practices for administrators. They said it would lead to “natural” resume boosting experiences and make me “more marketable”.

I was skeptical and a bit offended…I didn’t need to make myself “more marketable”, I KNEW I was qualified for the positions I was applying for. But in the face of rejection and feeling defeated I took their suggestion.

One area of administration I had not ventured into was the mandated 1 Admin. Academy a year. So, with a bitter taste in my mouth I registered for an Administrators Academy with little expectations that this would impact my teaching practices let alone make me feel “more qualified” to be an administrator.


I remember it like it was yesterday…my first academy…I found my seat amongst the strangers in suits and dresses and learned more than I EVER wanted to know about SB7. I was surprised that this academy was actually enhancing my teaching practices and a little worried that had I not come to this academy I would be completely uninformed about such an important piece of legislation.

I shared this information with the Union of our school district and as most things do, one thing led to another and the next thing I knew I was elected Vice President of the union and the chair of our SB7 committee. I guess my husband and principal knew what they were suggesting….talk about resume building experiences!! And all because of one informative Admin. Academy!

Administrator Academies were my missing puzzle piece to developing a strong, well-rounded resume that did indeed lead to a job in Administration, but the knowledge I learned throughout those academies were much more beneficial than just a resume booster. The sessions I attended changed my teaching practices, got me thinking deeper about current issues and trends in education, and allowed me to challenge my beliefs as I networked with others outside of my District.

Here, at the ROE, we strive to offer at least one Admin. Academy a month, not just to help our current administrators fulfill their yearly requirement to ensure their license stays valid :), but also to provide ALL educators an opportunity to attend a meaningful professional learning experience in which they walk away with an action plan and/or a reflection on their current practices and how they might modify/change their thinking due to the knowledge from the academy.

I am very excited about our first Admin. Academy of the year, scheduled for October which focuses on interpersonal and team communication skills. Participants will receive a full Everything DiSC Report, this report provides an unbiased view of the administrator’s workplace style, behaviors and a view of how others may perceive him/her. The academy is designed to help enhance skills to improve communication, ease frustration and manage conflict so school administrators and team leaders are more effective in their leadership roles achieving effectiveness and team performance-Sounds great right??

As a teacher, leader, & administrator I can’t even begin to tell you the value of knowing your communication style and how you are perceived by your peers. A five-minute conversation which you felt was very informative could feel evaluative and judgemental to others; wording, body language, and tone are aspects of communication which are often forgotten by those delivering the monologue but never forgotten by those on the receiving end. You can find more information about this academy and how to register here.

Administrator Academies are designed to challenge your thought process, prior knowledge and immediately provides an opportunity for participants to generate an action plan to apply their knowledge. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you are an administrator, all are welcomed and encouraged to attend and grow as professionals. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Kane County Regional Office Of Education with any questions you may have about administrator academies.

Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning

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