Words with Admin - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      The VENT

Words with Admin

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
learn's Avatar
learn learn is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 839
Senior Member

learn
 
learn's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 839
Senior Member
Words with Admin
Old 06-11-2021, 04:12 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Hello PT,
So I've blown up (NEVER done this before) at my principal one morning for not backing me up with a demanding, nasty parent. He bows down to them and never really defends us, and is always making an excuse of us getting sued.....really?

On another note, we are a Charter school, which I know we act a bit differently than the actually county not caring if the student goes to another school. Regardless, I don't see anything wrong with telling a parent the following; I will not allow such words to be used in talking to me or my teachers, when you can use appropriate words, then call us back." Is this grounds for someone suing us?

Another time when I pretty much got very defensive and upset was during my evaluation. They gave me effective when in years past I got highly effective. Yet I mentioned (which I know I shouldn't have...) that I know of a teacher getting horrible observations yet she made highly effective? They brought things from the past in which I didn't know they were holding a grudge on me and how they defended me with a parent 6 years ago being very upset because supposedly I diagnosed him with being autistic...my word against hers.

Basically, I would say 98% of the teachers at my school don't feel supported or valued at all. They are not giving us a principal evaluation because our superintendent thinks my principal is perfect.

Not sure what to do, there is nothing out there for me to go to another job right now. They haven't fired me, but I sense they will make life difficult for me next year.

Any suggestions aside from knowing it is time to go?


learn is offline   Reply With Quote

ConnieWI ConnieWI is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
Senior Member

ConnieWI
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
Senior Member
Principal Evaluation
Old 06-11-2021, 05:49 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Sounds to me like you staff should find some principal evaluations on line. Make your own using what you find. Do not send through email.

Collect them and send them to the superintendent by snail mail from a nearby town where no one on your staff lives.

It might also be a good idea to send copies of these evaluations to your school board.

While you are at it...maybe an evaluation of the superintendent should be done at the same time.

Yes...I am a b_____!!
ConnieWI is offline   Reply With Quote
Keltikmom's Avatar
Keltikmom Keltikmom is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 12,828
Senior Member

Keltikmom
 
Keltikmom's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 12,828
Senior Member
Admin
Old 06-11-2021, 06:24 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

I 100% support what Connie suggests. We actually did something like that a very long time ago. It helped.
Keltikmom is offline   Reply With Quote
NJ Teacher's Avatar
NJ Teacher NJ Teacher is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,716
Senior Member

NJ Teacher
 
NJ Teacher's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,716
Senior Member
Keep Looking…
Old 06-11-2021, 08:58 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

This school sounds like a toxic environment for you. In a public school, you might have a union to address your concerns, but here, you probably don’t. If the superintendent thinks this principal is perfect, your concerns won’t matter. Even if the staff could evaluate the principal, there is a good chance the super would ignore it, and also a chance the staff would not evaluate honestly, thinking it could be traced back to them.

As frustrating as your own personal evaluation is, being effective is fine. I had a principal who I was not a fan of and it was mutual. I figured out that no matter what I did, I would always be effective and not highly so, because that was how she saw me. I learned to live with it and do my job under the radar.

I would continue to look. Often, openings occur in the summer, and as the Covid year ends, people will be leaving. Good luck to you. I hope you are able to find something else and move on.

Last edited by NJ Teacher; 06-12-2021 at 03:27 AM..
NJ Teacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 10,208
Senior Member

Haley23
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 10,208
Senior Member

Old 06-11-2021, 02:17 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I would keep looking too. I'm surprised you're not finding any openings. Here, there are tons. For many teachers, "pandemic teaching" was the last straw and they retired early or left the field. If you're not seeing openings now, there may be some later this summer.

If you truly can't find anything else, you may need to swallow your pride for the sake of your job and apologize to the principal. You let your emotions get the best of you, you understand that he's thinking about the needs of the school, etc. I'm not saying you have to mean it, just say it.

With it being a charter, I'd personally just be extremely worried about losing my job, especially if for whatever reason teaching jobs are hard to come by in your area. Charters can fire teachers at any time, including in the middle of the school year. You're so much more at risk than you would be in a public school.


Haley23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Surly Surly is offline
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 298
Full Member

Surly
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 298
Full Member
I have no suggestions
Old 06-11-2021, 05:06 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

But I can relate. The administration at my school gives parents whatever they want, no matter how unreasonable their requests. Their approach is give parents whatever they want so they will go away, which just further chums the water for more sharks.
Surly is offline   Reply With Quote
BioBirdie BioBirdie is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 108
Full Member

BioBirdie
 
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 108
Full Member
Time changes everythjng...
Old 06-11-2021, 06:06 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

I've taught 20 years at the same school and been through 5 principals. Principal #3 and I did not do well together (putting it mildly). I had help from union and avoided him at all costs. I looked for new job, but my kids go to this school too, its 4 miles from the house we built, etc. So i was picky about where I applied and nothing materialized. I'm glad I didnt move because 2 principals later and I get highly effective ratings and feel like I have good relationship with admin.
I hope something changes for the better for you soon! It's awful how much one administrator can affect how you feel about going to work.
BioBirdie is offline   Reply With Quote
Summerwillcom's Avatar
Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 3,313
Senior Member

Summerwillcom
 
Summerwillcom's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 3,313
Senior Member
It sounds like a really frustrating place to
Old 06-12-2021, 12:20 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

work. Overall, I had excellent experiences with my P's over the yrs.
I had some of the best, but ended up getting 1 exactly like you describe. He lacked a backbone.
He not only bowed down to the parents, he did it with a lot of the kids too to avoid parent problems. He'd even pit some teachers against others. He was very dishonest on top of all that!
I survived because I needed to financially. He did not really like me for a few yrs. ( It wasn't personal, he did not like most of us.) Then something big happened that changed his attitude towards me.
The teachers jokingly called the school _____ (insert school name) Survivor Island. It got bad! He'd let parents cuss teacher's out and blame the teacher. He made it almost impossible to transfer b/c you never really knew what he said about people behind their backs.
The way I survived was by having and building strong parent relationships, taking care of everything I could on my own (out of his reach).
It was a lot of extra work/time, but it paid off. If he'd have messed with me, I knew parents would go to bat for me. Parents can be your best defenders if needed.
Also, this guy unknowingly encouraged me to save $ like a mad woman to retire early. If you can't find another job, my best advice is to save $.
Even having a good stash of $$ helps you see and be open to other options if you are not close to retirement age.
You have my deepest sympathy and I wish you the best.
Summerwillcom is offline   Reply With Quote
checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 872
Senior Member

checkerjane
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 872
Senior Member

Old 06-12-2021, 10:26 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

I was in a similar situation with my P a couple of years ago. It was concerning a bad/downright dangerous situation for everyone. I expressed my concerns, and she went off on me. Our relationship wasn’t the best after that. That woman can hold a grudge like she’s in jr high. Like we’d pass each other in the hall, and she wouldn’t even acknowledge me. Real mature and professional.

I sucked it up and stayed because I needed a paycheck and my kid went to school there. I was able to move to a different building with a different P, which helped some. I know you said it’s a charter school, and I’m not sure how they are structured, but would that be a possibility?

Good luck to you and your colleagues. It sounds like that’s a toxic environment, and I hope a solution comes along soon.
checkerjane is offline   Reply With Quote
Angelo Angelo is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,296
Senior Member

Angelo
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,296
Senior Member

Old 06-13-2021, 07:41 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

"He bows down to them and never really defends us, and is always making an excuse of us getting sued.....really?"

Yeah, it creates a real problem in a school when "lawsuit" becomes a magic word difficult parents discover they can use to get what they want and to sow the seeds of dissension between admin and the teaching staff.

Part of the problem is the litigiousness of the times. 95% of the parents who threaten a lawsuit will never do it, and of the handful who do, most don't have a legitimate cause of action. But it really is no fun to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit, and I find that some admins who have been through the process may be shell shocked and will do almost anything to avoid repeating it (this is very bad when it turns an admin into quaking ball of fear at the feet of difficult parents or inclines them to start throwing their staff under the bus to appease parents).

Like I say, most will never follow through on the threat to sue, but when they do... oh boy. It happened to a principal friend of mine. Getting handed papers by a process server at her home (not at school -- this apparently is an intimidation factor some lawyers like to use to throw people off balance... "we know where you live"); having to turn over records in discovery (paper files, e-mails, text messages); getting deposed; being told by the superintendent that the District's lawyers will defend you 100% only to have the lawyers make you sign off on a long list of exclusions ("if you did any of the following, you are on your own and should consider hiring a personal lawyer at your own expense..." basically); being deposed by lawyers who ask strange questions designed to catch you in any inconsistency; having every aspect of your school governance and culture questioned and challenged.

If the lawsuit pertains to an IEP and not appropriately accommodating a person with a disability, the lawyers will go diving for ANY AND EVERY example where the letter or spirit of the law was not followed. And you may or may not get a chance to explain the circumstances. That time the student forgot her laptop at home and you didn't have time to sign one out from the resource room? That will be on the school, not the student. That time the school had an unexpected fire drill and a student missed part of his extra time to write an exam? Even if he said it's okay, he's done anyway... the lawyer will note that and bring it up.

If the lawsuit is on behalf of a racialized student alleging discrimination... be prepared for every part of your school culture to be examined. Staff members' social media accounts will be examined. Every perceived microaggression from the moment the student arrived at the school will be investigated.

I've also heard that discovery can be especially tough on admins when involved staff members swear up and down "there is nothing to find" and they did everything right. Then something comes up in discovery that the staff member forgot about or didn't think would ever be found. It may be quoted out of context or be part of an e-mail chain. And it's not always the staff member who is on the hot seat for it... it's the admin to whom that staff member reports.

Even if the case gets dismissed or settled, it can end up costing the District tens of thousands of dollars or more, and at the very least, the principal will be called to a meeting with superintendants and asked why this had to reach the level of a lawsuit. What steps did they take to try to placate or deescalate matters with the parent directly?

So I'm not in any way defending admins who don't support their teachers. However, do understand that "I'm gonna sue you!" isn't always and everywhere an empty threat, and anyone who has been through it (admin, teacher, support staff, etc.) may be a bit traumatized by the process.


Angelo is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
The VENT
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:26 AM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net