The following blog is from the “cutting room floor” of my book. After sharing some reasons to run from teaching, my current purpose is to share insights so the reader learns from my mistakes. I couldn’t save my own job. Perhaps these ideas will save your’s. Find out more and purchase RESCUE THE TEACHER, SAVE THE CHILD! available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Teachers: What if you perceive no common ground regarding your teaching philosophy and your administrator? Do not believe if you stay long enough, you will “win him over.”
If you see a disconnect with your style of teaching and the interviewing committee, this is not the right job. Remember you are interviewing the administrator just as much as he is interviewing you. In one such interview, when it was my time to ask questions, my first question was, “What is the procedure of discipline for your students?” The answer: all of our kids are great kids so we don’t have a certain procedure. I did not accept the position.
Administrators: Principals’ main job description should be: how can I remove obstacles so my staff teach in an atmosphere of positive reinforcement and productivity?
Don’t use the words “I have your back” or “I always support my staff” unless you have a history of doing so. There is nothing worse than staff experiencing the small town atmosphere of their school only to discover the “mayor” makes campaign promises which he refuses to keep.
Administrators should avoid speaking to or asking a department chair to intervene with the “questionable actions” of a teacher. If admin doubts the conduct of a teacher, it is prudent he and the teacher have direct communication. Dropping by my office, the department chair expressed my principal’s disapproval regarding a previous meeting where I questioned the lack of budget for a new program. The passive, aggressive actions of the principal demonstrated “if you question me in a public meeting, I will silence you in a private office visit from your department chair.”
Administrators and Teachers: Principals and staff should avoid gossiping or hypothetical conversations. Whispering a true narrative does not pass the gossip test if the subject is not in the room to defend himself.
Enjoy a summer read which addresses these situations and provides solutions.