Today was such a nice day! I felt happy to be at school and teach. I use to feel that way all the time! That is until my P came to our school. I don't want to call this person a P because that would imply a roll of leadership! When the principal( who was out today hence my happy mood!), is there the entire staff looks depressed. The principal is not a leader but rather a dictator who only cares for 1 input! So many teachers have left the school! Why don't principals understand how the chain of happiness works? Happy teachers = happy students=happy parents= happy administrator... notice who is at the bottom!
I hear ya.
I too used (notice I said used) to work for someone like that. All he does is sit in his office and complains. He never did anything to change the issues that teachers were faced with everyday.
His attitude is "It's my way, no discussion". He could care less what teachers are saying would work better. If you approach him with a great idea, he shoots you down.
He allows others to run the day to day function of the school such as his secretary.
Within the past two years, teachers left him hanging in the middle of the year, without notice. Sometimes they would even get fed up with him and walk out of class to quit.
Even student enrollment is way down. Parents are finding other schools to send their children. He is one of those people who parents can not go to because his attitude towards them is "Im in charge here, this is the way it's going to be done, like it or not."
I don't know what to tell you. If possible I would look elsewhere for a teaching job, but with the economy the way it is, it may be one of those situations where you just have to bite your tounge and roll with the punches.
If Gaven's situation is similar to what Steffie describes (a lout that sits in the office all day) this can be a good thing. If one knows where the Prince is, one can do what one chooses. However, from the clues given by Gaven, it sounds like the Prince is out and about, throwing his/her weight around.
Many dictatorial decisions can be brushed off. Gaven, it might be of some use to specify an example or two of the kinds of things this person does. They can't watch you all the time. Many times visits are predictable. For example, I don't think I've ever had a Prince come walking through in the afternoon or on a Friday. A teacher must know that he/she is not powerless. I'll suggest again to read Sun Tzu's 36 strategems (http://tinyurl.com/5fnqju) as the ideas there can be transferred to our situations with a little thought.
Many teachers rely on the Prince for ultimate consequences for unruly and disruptive students. When one has an ineffective or appeasing Prince, one must become creative within the confines of the classroom to address certain student's behavioral needs. I don't believe I have ever worked for a Prince that effectively disciplined hard-case students (behavioral extinction was not achieved).
I am so sorry that any teacher is put through this. It was of some comfort to know my school isn't the only one losing teachers and students because of an amazingly inept P. We are 'learning through change' about how easy it must be to hold a position in which one takes no ownership nor responsibility. Stability is being fractured because the P says ok to a variety of things that go completely against the established rules. GRRRRR
I feel the same way. Our principal only cares about test scores. She keeps moving teachers to different grade levels. No one likes switching grade levels. The morale at our campus is very low. She is so negative. A career I used to love is now just a J..O..B..
I keep hoping she will retire.
Hang in there. We keep hoping someone is reading our district surveys.
If it gives you any comfort, things are just the same here in Australia. Our current P has never worked in a primary school before (go figure???). climbed her way via consultancy, has no clue about the daily operations of a school, let alone how to teach and couldn't run a bath let alone a school. To top it off she's a nasty piece of work who resorts to bullying tactics to undermine and threaten others. Over the last 12 months she's invited a couple of people to physically attack her - they obliged. Wish I knew who they were - I'd buy them a beer and shake their hand!
I am working in an extremely demoralized school. We had to sit and listen to the instructional coach and principal rant and rail against the teachers for an hour at the beginning of a day-long meeting.
The instructional coach is supposed to support the teachers at my school, and is instead a funnel to the principal. She was hired to replace a superior instructional coach that the principal didn't like. The principal lied to this previous instructional coach continuously, and was finally reprimanded by human resources for her outrageous behavior. Unfortunately, we still have this poor excuse for a coach, who for months told us "I don't know" and "You'll have to ask the principal" any time we had a question.
The principal treats the teachers as if they are bad boys and girls, and that she has to take the reins. If her hand-picked instructional coach had been doing her job, we as teachers could have done ours (which, according to the principal, is only to collect data, disaggregate it, and find trends - none of which helps us AT ALL in the classroom).
We haven't made AYP for enough years to warrant what they call "reconstituting 1", which means, I'm assuming, that next year, when we still haven't made AYP, the school district will look to rearranging the staff and structure of the school. I'm hoping, and so are most of the teaching staff - as well as some non-teaching staff - that the principal is the first to go.
When all the principal cares about is data, and not what actually occurs in the classroom (although she will spout the four words she believes belong in the Gospel - "Fidelity to the program" - even when the program doesn't work), what teachers need to have and do to be good teachers - and hence, help students learn, then the students will fail and the school will go down.
Here's hoping that they actually do restructure our school. The students and parents deserve more than a principal who only cares about data and herself.
It sounds like you think it's just fine that the principal just sits and doesn't do his job. The principal SHOULD be walking through classrooms - announced and unannounced. That's the only way he will know what's going on. That's the only way he can justify an evaluation of a teacher.
We shouldn't be grateful that he doesn't walk through. We should be appalled that he isn't doing his job.
When the principal doesn't care about what goes on in a school, that's when people are demoralized. I've worked in several schools where I was lucky if the principal even walked through once. I've been evaluated by principals who had no other choice but to give me good reviews since they'd never seen me teach. That's demoralizing.
It sounds like the only thing you think is important is student behavior. The principal is supposed to be the leader of the school. The principal is the captain of the ship. Hopefully this one will go down with the ship when it sinks, although most of the inept principals I know have deserted like rats at the first sign .
I thought I was alone. Doesn't the administration know that creating a culture of non-learning is counter productive to learning? Our school has had over a 50% turnover in teachers each year, for the past several years. You would think that someone like the state, board members and parents are paying attention. Maybe they don't care.
I thought I was alone until I read all your comments. The principal in my school building either sits all day at her office or she leaves the school building early, or is not in the school building at all. And do you know what? She won the Time Warner's award for being great principal. For doing what? Nada. The two assistant principals do Nada except sit with her in her office or go into one of their favorite teacher's classroom and chit-chat. One of them forces teacher to sell candy after school (the big boxes with cholocate candy bars and all in the name of "fund-raising." The other one is a control freak who believes that everyone should hug and kiss her every time she walks into your classroom, or find a teacher to lend her a sympathetic ear so she can air out her grievances about her lousy cheating husband. And when you are too busy TEACHING to do any of these things, she swings to her CONTROL FREAK mode and writes you up for things that you did not even do. She calls you while you are teaching and then hangs up after you said "hello." What a nutcase. When you need to talk to them, they told you they are "too busy." Support in dealing with difficulty students? Forget about it. They are three lousy good-for-Nadas, and do absolutely Nada all day. But can you believe that the principal won an award for being best principal?
I use to loved the school I was work, and I had to move to and other school and ISD because the principal. That woman is the worst boss I ever had, and now, that I had talk with a friend that still work at that school, she told me that this year, besides the ugly expression she uses all the time (I do not want to be ugly, but... and then is when spit her poison against the teachers) this year, she is using the expression "Snapped in the butt!" Isn't that very unprofessional? It is horrible to talk to people in that way? Is this woman, Garcia, forgetting that she had a school and a job because my friends work in there? Remember principals, no teachers, no school, no school, no job for you. It was such a nice place to work before she was there. Even, the former PA cried several times because she use to scream at her in public and she decided to quit education. Even, I remember one day she yelled at the custodians because broken chair, trowing chairs to the floor her self. I do not understand why we do allow that. It is hard to get a job, I know, but people like that, do not deserve to be working with excellent teachers as my friends in Black.
A certain p called her staff into a meeting to inform them that a older student committed suicide. She went and said his named, saying it repeatedly as like she was trying to pronounce it and said she did not know the student personally. But what she failed to tell anyone that this student was actually in her class when she was a teacher. A kid commits suicide and the first reaction to this is to distance herself from this situation. Nice compassion.....she was more worried about covering her own butt knowing possibly she missed the signs than feeling bad about the situation. Nice integrity
I feel bad for all the people who have to deal with a bad P but let me tell you about the nightmare at my school. The P we have was removed as VP from her position over 7 years ago and placed at our sweet little school as "punishment", (words we were told when she arrived). She has destroyed everything that school was. She walks around cursing around the kids, screaming at children, staff and parents and every year since she has been there has targeted one or two people to get rid off. We have had more lawsuits against her then I can count. 2 children have run out of the building and she never called authority, a child brought a knife to school and she never handled it, and that only scratches the surface. She bans parents from the school for absolutely no reason except for the lies in her head. She wont allow any trips, fun days or extra activities for the kids. I can go on and on but i think i have made it clear that this school by far has the worst P that has ever existed. The only thing to do once she sets a target on your back is to leave. Hopefully one day someone will see the truth and get her out of there.
Does anyone know the process of getting rid of a bad principal? Our pta has been brainwashed by her. They keep handing over tons of money for special programs and even nice technology, but we are the lowest performing school in our town. Unfortunately, being the lowest doesn't mean much because we are like in the 90210 zip code of wealth. I can't get anyone to care that this person is playing all of us. There is no reason why we should be at the bottom almost all of the time. I went to great lengths to compare all of our SOL pass-advance rates for our 7 nearby schools over the past ten years. I included the amount of GT and ESOL, etc. Nothing can explain our failure....except a bad leader. Help.
Here's one for the books as well! The principal at the school I work in is usually nice, cheery...and drunk. She pretty much lets the secretary who has been there for OH so many years, run things. But if she is mad about something, or just plain doesn't like someone, she talks badly about them to other school staff and gives them a terrible job review that has no basis (pretty much meaning that she uses tiny insignificate things and twists them into ugly gigantic lies), to give her leverage to fire people she doesn't like. She does it with no forewarning and without talking to the person to try to correct them first. Many teachers and staff (who haven't been fired by her) have either transfered or just plain quit. To tell you the truth, I've already applied in another district. How can people like this continue to devistate the education system in a country where the laws are supposed to be based on the rights of the people?! Absurd!
My school has been in the news for the mis-managment of school funds. The principal has been in an awful mood (she has been accused of a few things publicly) and has treated our entire staff terribly. Today she got word that I was applying to other schools and really let me have it. I'm sorry, but as an effective teacher I do not want a 'red flag' on my resume. After today, I am actually hoping that she ends up in trouble for her wrongs. I'll learn from her mistakes and have a great career.
The problem is it is virtually impossible to remove a principal. Principals are also covered by unions, and they are tenaciously tenured.
Usually the least talented, least capable people are put in these jobs. These principals are usually failed teachers and failed human beings who cannot or can't wait to get out of the classroom. More than a few of them are cronies to those higher up the chain.
Forget the fantasy about removing a principal. It will never, ever happen. YOU will be gone long before the principal is. The worst that can happen is the principal will either be promoted or reassigned to another school to wreck havoc.
I can't stand the crooked ground the principal at my school walks on. He is a negative, arrogant, slob fool of a man, and the sooner the board of education and superintendent in my school district find out the better the world of teaching would be at my school. He never sees anything positive when it comes to me or my teaching techniques. He told me that he made a mistake by renewing me for a teaching job this year. Well, I have news for you--you fat fool, I know that the district made a mistake in hiring you in the first place. How dare you try to make me feel as if I'm a bad teacher just because you dislike me and my veteran teaching status. I can't stand your guts. Last year, he came on board as a fool principal replacing a fool principal. How in the world can you beat this. I hate going to work on most mornings because the sight of him makes me want to throw up. When I see that his truck isn't parked in its usual slot, and I know he won't be there, I could literally weep for joy. I know that times are hard, but Lord knows if I could find anything away from that SOB, the better off I will be as a teacher.
I am a P who does visit classes and then am accused of ??? when I am just visiting and trying to see some of the great things going on in many classes. However it is hard to be impressed when too many teachers sit at their desks and kids are again and again merely answering questions from a text with no interaction, no exciting lessons or motivation... no efforts to implement new teaching methods even though they have been trained and encouraged to do so...same old, same old....
I am a 1st year teacher and I got a job at a school in a position I was really excited about teaching SE. I always thought I was supposed to be an advocate for my students and help them by helping others. I also am helping students that are struggling. I have tried to implement creative things or use things to help the students, but literally been told no. We too have a coach who does everything one way. I met with her about some ELL students and in the end, she just said she was going to do what she was going to. She is "open" to ideas but not willing to try them or even try them. Happens to be good friends with the principal who is the same way. Definitely a "my way or the high way". I am losing my passion for teaching already as I feel like helping the students with their individual needs is frowned upon. I am afraid to do anything but what I am "ordered" to. Is this what education and teaching really is...
I'm comforted to hear that I am not the only one in this situation. I have been losing my passion for this job over the last year and a half because of poor leadership.
I work at a Private School. Principals want butts in the seats, but if we don't have the resources, how are we supposed to keep the students? Not to mention the fact that we have lost many great teachers because of the poor leadership. We lost already two teachers Mid-year, and both were because of "family issues." Give me a break. It's more like we have the worst principal of all time. She does nothing but look at the glass half empty. Nothing satisfies this woman. If you fail kids, you're not adjusting the curriculum to meet their needs, if you adjust to the ELL's, you are accused of not challenging the brighter kids. I have so little respect for this person, this so-called leader, it's the worst experience of my life. She yells and threatens her staff members (including me), and then at the same time calls me her friend. She offered me a 4/5ths contract, when I told her I couldn't afford to do that she suggested I talk to my parents and ask them if I could move back home. How unprofessional is that? She even hired her own husband to teach math at the school. Talk about nepotism. Everyone who leaves the place, especially under her leadershipis always better off. I may quit for now until the people in power learn how to hire a decent principal.
I am a teacher with a learning disability and I have been routinely discriminated by my principal. I know that this discrimination is based on my disability and nothing else because I was fine for her first year of being principal, then one day I mentioned that I had a learning disability (a fact that I have never hidden) and everything changed for me.
Nothing I do is good enough - if I didn't have kids and a mortgage I would quit teaching and sell paint.
I like that the principal that commented (Walking P) did so at 9:12 am on a Wednesday in January. What, no school that day in your district? You complain of teachers sitting at their desk... what were you doing when you posted this? Sick day? If you are the administrator then you need to provide a vision/expectation for what good instruction looks like. You need to provide professional development and a sense of community and inspiration around this vision of good instruction. You need to do this in a non-threatening way that allows teachers to buy-in and not be defensive. Telling them they are bad teachers is not the best way to foster growth and change.
I am an instructional coach and I have seen great principals take mediocre teachers to a higher level by building a strong (and sensible) vision with lots of support: in that environment a coach is worth every penny. I have also seen terrible principals take great teachers into the abyss of failure by walking through classrooms leaving arbitrary, and negative, "walk-through" feedback that does not support any consistent vision. These principals tell the teachers how bad they are, then the teachers are on the defensive, no one gets along, and then the principal says, "these teachers are just uncooperative." - That's no different than a teacher that claims to be a great teacher but every year says, "It's these kids." That's an environment where a coach can do little but watch the administrator sink the ship. The coach can't bail the water out as fast as the administrator makes the holes.
Five years of experience as an instructional coach should be required before becoming an administrator. 7 years of good teaching should be the minimum requirement before becoming a coach. No one should be able to administrate at level where they have not taught and coached. I am kind of tired of high school art teachers becoming elementary school principals and then running a school into the ground in their attempt to "fix" the system.
My grade level was moved to a new campus. Oh lord, what a nightmare. We had an hour faculty meeting before open house. The whole meeting was how terrible we all were. I cried during the meeting (no one saw) and I am no cry baby. Then we were dismissed to greet parents. Hello, my name is a piece of #?/%, nice to meet you. The last day of school we had a two hour meeting about how sorry we all were. I couldn't get out of that school fast enough. Not going back either. Changed grade levels and went back to my old school. Adios to my ex P in Texas. Won't miss you!
The only time I get a visit from the P is when a student makes a complaint. I have taught in a technology area for ten years and have welcomed my prior P into my class on several occasions. My current P of over 6 years has not spent 15 minutes in total in my class for this entire time. I have on occasions bought this up with him and still has been a no show. He seems to have no interest in my classroom other than it runs smoothly. As for support with problem students forget it.
I currently have an Assistant Principal who spent 3 years as a music teacher before beginning her career as AP. She is extremely condescending in meetings and evaluations. She has no experience in core subjects, but will interrupt a lesson to critique how you answer a student's question. Not only is it demoralizing, but it is undermining. I don't understand why more experience is not required, but our school has been sinking ever since.
An ineffective teacher became an ineffective principal the first year after getting his administrator's certificate. This was due to his connections with cronies higher up the chain. He ran a school into the ground. He abused teachers by playing mind games, falsifying observations, undermining their authority in the classroom, withholding professional development, ignoring school law, supporting the bad behavior of students and even making false accusations agaist teachers leading to health, personnel or legal issues.
He had so many complaints and grievances against him, as a principal, that he was demoted (not fired) and put back in the classroom as a tenured teacher after two years. He was no longer allowed to be a principal in that district. Hopefully he never goes to another district as any administrator. He is still bitter to this day.
As soon as you find out that you are going to have an inept principal, transfer ASAP. If you find out midyear that you have a toxic ineffective principal, you could be a whistle-blower, and get out from under that principal. Be a aware of the consequences. You can look at your personnel file, but not the file an ineffective principal can keep on you. This file can be passed on to another administrator who may or may not be ineffective. This creates a bias that can follow you for the remainder of your career.