Charting the Administrative Passage
Chapter 4 charts the administrative passage through the eyes of recently appointed assistant principals. It describes the external landscape – the different actors and contexts which newcomers encounter as well as the internal landscape – the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes that they experience as a result of these interactions. The assistant principals’ narratives suggest that new administrators engage in a series of cyclical processes as they cross the boundary between teaching and administration. This chapter extends the transitional framework that was described in Chapter 1, and it provides a more extensive analysis of the complex dynamic which occurs when professional and organizational forces impact individual transitions. A metaphor of epicycles or cycles within cycles is introduced to illustrate the assistant principals’ internal and external trajectory. The four cycles of Entry–Exit, Immersion–Emersion, Disintegration–Reintegration, and Transformation–Restabilization illustrate the paradoxical nature of the administrative change and transition passages and are presented from the assistant principals’ insider perspective.