When I worked at a charter school, we didn't have department heads. We had "pods," groups of teachers that taught students of a similar age. I had to collaborate extensively with these teachers, blending disciplines, coming up with themes and projects, coordinating field trips, etc. While we didn't always see eye to eye and had huge disagreements, in the end, we respected each other as human beings, as fellow teachers.
The whole idea of a department head was new to me when I started at a regular public school a year ago. My first experience with a department head has not been positive. In fact, my experience with this English department has been a disappointment.
If you've ever watched Star Trek, you'll be familiar with the Borg. Ever seen the Stepford Wives? Then you get the idea.
My principal pointed out to me that he is my boss, not my department head. Good distinction to know.
So, I've chosen to take a stand and preserve my individuality but it has not been without its cost. My only salvation is that another English teacher started with me last year. So at least we have each other.