My Principal Is On My Back Every Minute. I Have Taught Many Years. I Have Always Had Excellents On My Evaluations. This Year She Is Picking On Me Unfairly. She Does Not Like My Students To Talk At All In The Class Or In The Hall. She Also Does Not Like Them To Do Much Art And Does Not Allow Any Extra Activities In The Classroom. I Could List Many Other Things That She Is Doing But I Am Afraid She Is Reading This. A Lot Of Teachers Have Transfered Out Or Quit Because Of The Tyrant. She Is Called A B---- All The Time. Some Of The Teachers Are Going To The Teacher's Union But A Lot Are Very Afraid Of Her. She Verbally Abuses Us All The Time. She Treats Us Like Kids And Acts Like Our Rooms Are Hers. I Hate Her So Much. She Is Trying To Get Me To Lose My Contract. Please Give Me Ideas On What My School And I Should Do. Thankyou
was a pain in the backside like your principal. She walked through teachers' room when teachers were not there, and even went as far as to have maintenence THROW AWAY teachers' personal furniture/couches she didn't like in the classrooms. She even took a teacher's nice bookshelving (teacher's personal shelves) and had them put in her office!!!!!??? She didn't allow even one extra student chair in the classroom, past the number of students we had. Nice for centers-other activities, huh? She had no idea about teaching, she did the bare minimum to get to be a Super.
Our Super ended up with a big vote of No Confidence. Quietly rally something like this with others who agree, and see what you can get done, but be effective and quick so you don't get backlash.
Dear sad Teacher: I am very sorry to hear of your current troubles with an obviously emotionally disturbed principal. I posted on another board once, about a principal who actually had a nervous breakdown, in front of the entire faculty at a teachers' meeting, and nothing was done. Her office staff, helped to keep up a sort of "Fantasy" that she was still in the building everyday, signed her in...Etc....it was very scarey. That was a few years ago....she was promoted to a high level board position, the same year that she had her breakdown. the few times that she was actually present in the building, after that public breakdown, she exhibited many of the behaviors that you have described in your post (not that she was anything to be desired before the inccident). I think it might be best, if some of your teachers did go to the union re: this administrator, before your school's morale is totally destroyed. I have seen it happen...more than once!. I am retired now, but I still get letters from my union, telling me how the Board send directives to administrators, with instructions and strategies on "how to get rid of a teacher"....we have seen actual written copies of the directive. I assure you that I am not trying to alrm you any further...you have been through enough! Keep every copy of your past excellent evaluations...keep careful written private logs, of all inccidents with her. It is important that your faculty "ban together", to quite literally, "save your school". This principal, of whom I speak, waited until the last day of school, and then gave me an unsatisfactory evaluation...my first in 25 years! The other teachers were laughing when I showed it to them...eventually I did too...but it should not have happened.....and it should not be happening to you. Isn't it strange that on that memorable friday the 13th, that wonderful 20/20 program, never even touched on the subject of cruel, and mentally unstable administrators, and their destructive effects on good teachers and students. When I posted this on a retiree's board.. I was attacked and accused of hating administrators....of being "crazy"...etc. Nothing could be further than the truth.....I have seen some wonderful administrators....but they were "hounded out of office', by the type that you and I have discussed here. You have my best wishes for yourself and the good future of your school. Hang in there.....utilize your union in every way possible...document everything.....and continue to give of your best to the little ones, despite all these unnecessary idiocies. God Bless you!
Wow, you are really in a tough spot! It’s hard to teach and also emotionally draining when you feel like you are being attacked. You just might need to band together with your peers as other posters have said.
Document every encounter with your administrator. Keep any important documentation at your house and not in school files.
Just a word of warning ... sometimes the teacher who “sticks her neck out" for the group of teachers at a school faces some sort of retribution (like being transferred to another school or moved to an undesirable grade level). Your peers who speak strongly against your administrator may loose their courage when asked to speak up in public. Avoid talking about your administrator in an unprofessional manner even if you feel you are with peers who support you view point. Things change and you can be quoted at a later time. Always remember to protect your own professional career as best as you can.
Most importantly, find a group of friends that you can have fun with! Get away from school and laugh as much as you can. You’ll survive this situation if you can put it in perspective and focus on finding a little joy in life. Best of luck to you.
Dear Renea: Thank you for adding some very good additional advice to the guest who is having so much trouble with an emotionally disturbed principal. Unfortunately, everything that you said in your post is quite true, and I am happy that you have reiterated my advice about documentation. Your suggestion that it be kept at home, and not in school, is an excellent one. I carried my "captain's log" (a plain notebook that i so titled), back and forth with me...and never left it out of my sight. One day I fogot it, and even though I was half-way home, I went back for it. Likewise, your advice to speak about the principal in a professional manner, is also very important, as is your urging to associate closely with peers. There was a senile administrator in our building, who constantly made sexual agressions to the female teachers in his division....they complained bitterly...but took no overt action against him, for fear of retaliation. Finally, a younger teacher...the union Rep no less....filed charges against him. She was harrassed, and then transfered. Again..it is not my wish to unduly alarm the young teacher who posted this thread....nor am I trying to "rant" against "Past injustices"....I would like to help a fellow teacher out of lthis maze, if at all possible. Also, yourlast sentence is quite poignent....At our union Rep"s house, at the annual end of the year party...her Husband would always come and urge us to enjoy, stop talking about school and "push the button and turn it off". Not always easy to do, but important to do whenever possible. Thank you for your post.
I just wanted to add that I once read a good book : How to Work for and Idiot. The title caught my eye when I was at the book store and while it was written with businesses in mind, there were some excellent ideas for any employee. Actually the ideas were very honest and practical. This book will give you a new perspective about your job. The very best thing about this book is that it’s pretty humorous. It sounds like the teachers in your school school use some entertainment and suggestions as well.
Hi Sad Teacher,
I can totally relate to your situation. This is my 2nd year teaching since I graduated. My first job didn't work out b/c it was a far commute and also I didn't like teaching prek spec ed. I wanted to teach upper grades. Now I teach 2nd in a district I thought I enjoyed until this week(i had ups and downs throughout the year so far), but none until now. My prinicpal is nit picky and I feel she doesnt quite understand me. I've gotten to the point that she writes notes to me and told me that my log wasn't filled correctly. We have to fill out a log everytime we meet w/a staff member or with our team for planning. She said my log didn't record that I met with my team for the 3 hrs of planning time I have a week. I told another new teacher this and she showed me her log and said mine was far better than hers which was kinda true b/c I had written much more than she had. In the note principal said I only put down 5 time I met with team and that it wasn't correct. She said I have to observe my mentor and she has to observe me. I asked my mentor if she knew if other teachers were being observed too and she even told my principal I wondered this and my mentor said my principal said no in a concerning way. I have 5 repeated offenderes that consistently misbehave. I try my best(and really feel I do) to teach, but I feel like I'm not being appreciated. I've had good evaluations on observations thus far(my first 1 wasnt the best so she had me do it again but 2nd was fabulous but other teacher even ones in school for a while had to do theirs over sometimes I heard). She's yelled at me in front of kids for being late to drop them off for lunch or for removing them to a diff. classroom other than ones nearby. My kid's are immune to going to classrms nearby when they get on red of our behavior plan(it's schoolwide policy) and principal has to be notified with a form. So, I sent them upstairs to a teacher who is very tough and intimidating so she could straighten the kids out b/c apparently they said they like going to nearby classrooms. I feel unapprecitaed right now by principal and don't want to have to look for another job 3 years in a row esp since I have to do state portfolio next year (I put off this year b/c I switched school districts/grade levels and state understood that). I don't know what to do either. I doubt I'll have contract renewed either. I feel your pain and frustration and wish I could tell you more other than I know where you are coming from. It's tough when a principal is picking on you in a sense. Hang in there, and if you do leave to find a diff. job I hope it's just what you want, and I hope that if you do stay you are appreciated enough. If you aren't being appreciated, I think you might just want to consider leaving. It's no fun to be unhappy in a job(I do know that feeling that I get every single day). Hope all works out. Let me know what you decide. I'm just very afraid to ask for a recommendation from my principal after all this b/c she probably won't say anything nice.
I would like to thank: PSC, GB, Magister, Renea and MAConfused for all of your help and advise. I finally went to the teacher's union and they are telling me what to do. I have backup now and the Principal is being careful. I still hate the Principal and can't wait until the year is over. The union said that they will get me into another school. Another teacher quit because of the Principal. I've been using a lot of your suggestions.
To: Big Ike and Sad Teacher
Your question was: Why does the school district allow her to still be a principal? Well, the districts need to have better principal evaluations and get on top of things. Sad Teacher should really try hard to de-stress and be positive even though she is teaching under a "Hitler" and in hell!!! I'm surprised more people out there are not sending advise to this sad teacher!! They must have principals who are never on their backs.
Good Luck to sad teacher and hope you make it through this very stressful time!
I have enjoyed some wonderful principals in my teaching career, but often they were overwhelmed. It sometimes seems that they are picking on teachers, but in fact, they are projecting their own frustrations. I believe one thing "if the principal does not support you, and is not kind to you and others, leave."
I work in a system that agrees to pay one salary...but only pays half of the contract amount...long story
It is a title one school, but they won't give me so much as a pencil
Gang violence and no security
non licensed teachers leading the pack....go figure...
well, I will be changing jobs...the principal can not control all of the atmosphere at school, but he or she should make it a good place to work ...which will usually result in teachers supporting and helping the principal.
The bottom line is that principals just hate teachers that are smarter than them. Correct them at a meeting or voice your opinion and your name will go straight on their s@!* list. My principal has been sneaky and underhanded for the last two years and when I finally called her on it at a meeting she wrote me a page long nasty email... not only that, she has let other teachers insult me in front of the whole staff. We got along wonderfully before because I just stayed out of her way. The staff has major morale and trust issues and she just makes them worse. Our district seriously brought in a therapist to talk to the staff. Your hard earn tax dollars at work! We don't need a therapist- she does! My suggestion is don't rock the boat. Give her the impression that you are mindless worker bee that follows orders...then close your classroom door and do whatever you want. The kids need you to be strong. It isn't fair to them that an idiot principal can make their teacher miserable.