I have a terrible principal. He has been at our school for two years. He is military, so very black and white, no middle ground. BUT he is super passive. Sits around like a bump on a log, "delegates" with half a dozen committees in our small building, gets teachers to do all the work, ultimately doesn't let us have the power we need to actually get things done, then blames teachers when things don't go well. It is infuriating. It is not in my nature, but I find my only strategy is to pull away, and think of my job as just the place I go to put in my time and collect my paycheck, and helps me afford the lifestyle I want for my own children (hours, vacations, etc). I suppose it could be worse, he could be an aggressive bad principal, which I have sure heard horror stories about. My staff is awesome, but everyone is fleeing. We work(ed) great together as a team, but people will be getting different jobs to save their own sanity. Ultimately it is the kids and the school community that suffers. The building leadership has reached out to district personnel for support but they turned everything into us being needy and high maintenance, or that we weren't able to get along with each other. Such a crock. Anyway, one of my good friends on staff just got a job elsewhere, so I am feeling angry about that. I will stay another year; getting off this leadership team should be enough to get me through another year. This school is close to my home and I know the curriculum at my grade level, so as I said it allows me to do my job pretty easily.
Again, this is not in my nature. I am driven to be part of a high functioning team. I will definitely go elsewhere when my children are a bit older and more independent. Have you ever had a bump on a log, terrible principal? How did you cope? Oh, and he never supports us, insults us to parents, passive aggressively of course, but just really undermines us left and right.
He is a war vet as well, and there are huge issues there. None that he will acknowledge as having an impact on all of us, but huge nonetheless.
Last edited by happymom2; 06-10-2008 at 04:42 PM..
I can relate somewhat. My principal is a nice man and seems to try to do things but he is so unorganized and concerned about the almighty dollar that we end up doing a lot of the work. I get irked too because he definitely has favorites. I have never had a perfect principal however and imagine they don't exist. I would suggest to you though that if you are thinking of leaving-don't wait too long. In my state you can't get a job with more than 5 years experience-they have to pay too much. So, here I stay, waiting for the tide to turn.
I'm sorry your principal is not doing a good job. I just felt that I had to tell you that not all military people or war vets act the same way. In fact I'm married to one. I've been around a lot of military people and have met some of the most wonderful people you'll meet any where. I don't think the fact that he's military has anything to do with the way he is running your school. Why doesn't the staff meet with him and have a talk about how things are going? You could make a list of good vs things you want to change. Its sad everyone is wanting to leave without trying to get him to understand how you all feel. The teachers need to unite and confront what is going on instead of just leaving.
I hear what you are saying. I apologize for not being clear with that. We have met with him in small group and large, and he knows how we feel. We have had more meetings on this topic than I can count. I did not mean to say all vets are the same. I am appreciative to him for his service to our country, and I am proud of the work our vets have done. That said, he has acknowledged having ptsd and that it affects him at work, and he has asked us for our help. We have communicated to him more than once that we want to be supportive, but we are stretched to our maximum, and so think it would be appropriate for HIS superiors to provide some support. Sadly, they have turned this as I said into us (staff) having issues, even though initially it was our principal who came right out and said this was a huge issue and it affected him deeply.
Anyway, it is all very frustrating. We have tried for 2 years to work on this as a building and it has only gotten worse. Ironically, my teammate's husband did an 18 month stint in Iraq and he has nowhere near the same issues. In my opinion it is a matter of ptsd but also most likely an individual who lacked the skills necessary to be a good principal prior to his military experience.
It does, though, make one think of the impact ptsd will have on our workforce.
I can relate to having a terrible administrator, in my case it is the superintendent of the charter school I work at. I used to think this person was great, so caring and all. In four years I have come to realize that this person has to be the worst administrator. This person claims to care about the kids but when one of the kids obviously can't make it at our school, instead of trying to place them where they would be better serviced, she hangs onto them like without them the school will not survive. I have come to realize that not only is this unfair to the teachers, it is even more unfair to the child. It is horrible to realize this and face it but it is even worse, it is disillusioning as an educator who believes that doing what is best for the child is what is most important and sometimes what is best for the child is not always what we want but what we need to be strong enough to do...let them go to another setting where they can be serviced better.
Since I am married to a Marine, I am "lucky" enough to get to start out fresh at new schools every few years. I have encountered principals on all ends of the spectrum and one or two with the perfect balance.
A few years ago, I had a great job at a school with wonderful people and students....BUT the principal was extremely disorganized and not really "into" her job. She was the nicest person...very supportive of her teachers and believed in "family first"...which was absolutely necessary for me during my time at her school because my husband was gone for a year over those 2 years and I was essentially a "single" parent. However, when it came to being in charge of a school of about 750 kids...she seemed overwhelmed. At our school, some of the teachers basically chose to take over. The only thing she really did was observe the teachers when required. The teachers started a discipline committee to be sure that behavior/discipline problems were handled well. Our reading specialist took care of any necessary staff development plans, etc. It was NOT fair for the teachers to have to do that...but they did what was necessary to keep the school running smoothly. Perhaps if some teachers are willing to take on some extra responsiblities at your school (which I am sure people are already doing), your principal will feel less overwhelmed and work towards healing himself and his relationship with his faculty.
I had the AGGRESSIVELY bad principal. She is an unproffesional, unethical nightmare with serious problems. I (like your friend) am out of there. I can't believe that so many teachers stay and allow themselves to be treated that way. Most have never taught anywhere else and don't realize they are not being treated professionally. I love teaching and some crazed administrator is not going to suck the teaching passion out of me....
My principal isn't military, he is redneck. His nickname is a word that means "crooked" and he uses it to introduce himself to other professionals visiting our school. It is embarassing. Recently I filed a grievance against him because he invited two of my colleagues to interview me about an incident where a student said he had done some things to me, if you know what I mean.
I was furious. These women had no business knowing about my private issues with student/principal. The principal did not even sit in on the interrogation! Privacy Act.....where are you? Also, he caused me to be placed in a hostile work environment when he allowed the 14 year old student to come in the cafeteria and make mean eyes at me during lunch. He was suppose to be on suspension! Also, the principal let this kid go on an out of state field trip for three days during his suspension. Does the Civil Rights Act ring a bell with anyone? He is so incompetent. I pray my grievance will make him want to resign. He is the #1 UNDERMINER!