Job Security No More......... (by Jen Wagner)

When I first started being a Tech Director (former job) I felt great pride in being the guru of tech knowledge and unfortunately, I also did my best to keep that knowledge just beyond the reach of the staff. You might call it a lot of things….but in actuality it was a lot of conceit with a bit of job security.

Now, jump forward 10 years (perhaps 10 years of wisdom, 10 years of maturing) and my major focus is to eliminate my position at work.

You see – for many many (too many) years …I was the holder of all tech wisdom. (100% mostly for my gratification and my ego). The false sense of pride of being the “techie know it all” not only alienated and limited my staff but also was selfish to myself and the burden I placed upon myself…because of my unwillingness to share the information.

So now I am consciously striving to put myself out of a job.

Here are some things I am (or am no longer doing):

* Refusing to touch the mouse when I am called in to help a teacher but letting them drive.
* Writing up “HOW TO “ worksheets and placing them on the server and no longer hoping staff will read them, but directing staff to read them before jumping in to trouble shoot something they could troubleshoot on their own.
* Inviting and dragging (yes, right now I am dragging) teachers to conferences, to conversations, and to training and then following up later to see how they are doing and having them share at in-services instead of myself always teaching
* Not giving my opinion on matters as quickly as I had in the past – but instead taking time to seek others viewpoints and contributions.
* Sending grant ideas to teachers with a “you could and should apply for this”
* Sharing the deep dark secrets of the network – okay, not totally true – but not making the network such a “scary, members only area”
* When receiving emails of “Jen, do you think this is a hoax” returning the email with “what does snopes say about it”? and other various ways of not always being the know it all.
* No longer saying “Yes, I can” but saying “Yes, you can.”

I do not know the number of my days – at work or in my lifetime – but I know pretty certain that this job will not be my last job and though I do not have plans to leave any time soon….I do not wish for them to be helpless and hopeless just because I am not there.

I do not wish for the vision of tech at my current campus to be driven by one person – especially if that one person is me. My limitations of knowledge, my ruts of certain software that I am comfortable with, and the setting of goals and benchmarks should never be the final say on my campus.

It is very very easy for me to jump in and do it all – but it is much better for my campus to learn to not only be self-reliant but also team players who work together for a common goal that is understood and written by all (and not just by me.)

I do enjoy the campus that I work on. Most of the people are eager for new ideas and are thankful that they have someone kind in my position right now who does not bark at them for their lack of tech savviness. But I also know that once I get them to the point that they don’t turn to me first – they turn first to themselves and then they turn to a fellow teacher or their PLN….then I have done my job!!


(cross posted at: