Administrators in General

Discussion in 'General Education' started by frogger, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Oct 15, 2015

    I'm not sure if it's the State I'm in or if it's common all over, but it seems like that administrators have a problem with being disciplinarians. For example, a student who is already established with suspension and administrative conferences, etc., took off running from the cafeteria today, he ran so fast that the teacher couldn't keep up with him and they had 8 adults looking for him. This is a kid who has a history of doing this and leaving the school property. He was eventually found and later I saw him come into the cafeteria to drop off a food tray and went right back to his regular classrooms. Or a student who is constantly disrupting the class, they get a time out or maybe a full day in school suspension if it was repetitive but it does not stop the behavior. Are the administrators hands tied that much? But if we as teachers do not report and something happens then they wonder why weren't we reporting/documenting this behavior from the beginning...any administrators on here who can weigh in or anyone have any good insight into this?
    Thanks.
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2015

    Short answer: yes. Our hands are frequently tied. If a student is labeled special ed, I can only give them 10 days of "in school suspension" (ISS) a year. That's it. If a specific incident is really bad, we have to have something called an MDR (manifest determination review). If it's determined that the behavior is somehow tied to the disability, we are extremely limited in what punishments we can give.

    Sometimes, that kid you see "right back in class" is actually going to face more serious consequences later, but there has to be a thorough investigation first. There are times that those investigations can take several hours or even a day or more. If it's an incident that could possibly involve the police, that's going to take even longer to investigate. Sometimes we can let the kid stay in ISS while the investigation occurs, but sometimes we can't. Our ISS teacher was out today. There was a sub in the room, but there's no way that sub could handle some of our students, so we didn't use ISS today.

    Are there administrators our there who just don't care and let the kids do whatever? Probably. But, like teachers, most of us very much want to do the best job we can and make our schools as safe as possible. We also want the kids to learn, need the kids to learn, are supposed to make their learning our main priority... and that doesn't happen when they are constantly in the office or suspended.
     
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  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 16, 2015

    We are a K-6 school with over 650 students. We do not have in-house suspension (nor does any elementary site in my district).

    Each middle school (grades 7/8) has a full-time in-house suspension supervisor--plus, they only have 500 students per site.

    Another thing that really bothers my colleagues and me is that the middle schools have three administrators (one principal and two VPs). The elementary sites have far more students, but we only have two administrators! Talk about inequity!

    Bottom line: we are spread super thin! Lately, I've been coming to work on the weekend to get paperwork done (mainly, because I'm dealing with discipline all day long).
     
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  5. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2015

    I'm not an administrator, but I agree that hands are tied. In a public school, there are only so many days a student can be suspended, because the school is financially responsible for the student's education after a certain point. At least in my state, they would have to pay for the student to go to an alternative school. And when you have serious recurring behavior problems, sometimes the problem is too big for school staff to fix... some students need counseling, or something needs to change in their home life, or they need a different school.

    This is why I really love being at a charter school -- the kiddos who don't follow our rules can actually be expelled. I've never had to deal with the insane behavior problems I had back at a public school. However, the same "difficult" kiddos are often brought to charters and private schools because they've already had trouble with public schools.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 16, 2015

    We've got a handful of students who I would love to find an alternative setting for. Their behaviors are far too severe for a public school/regular education atmosphere! It's pretty unfortunate that my principal and I have been dreading going to work lately due to having to deal with their out of control behaviors and having zero parental support from the five students' families (the parents are dealing with homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and incarceration). Sadly, their children's educations are the very last thing on their priority lists!

    I would love to go into detail about the ONE thing that each of these children have in common, but that would mean acknowledging the elephant in the room.
     
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  7. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 17, 2015

    Our district has in school suspension, Saturday School, out of school suspension, an alternative HS and ultimately, expulsion.
    My current principal is very effective with management, but the previous one thought yelling was the answer.
     
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  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 17, 2015

    Our regular work day is 10 hours, easily, not including nights when we have duty (although that's typically only 1 night a week... it's still a 7:30am to 9:30pm day). I rarely have time for lunch. None of our admin team actually sits and eats lunch for 25 mintues. Ever. We go non-stop from the time we get into the building until we leave.

    Discipline takes up about 70% of my time, but it's only about 20% of my official list of duties. If all I had to do was discipline, I think it would be a lot better because I could really focus on developing a relationship with a child and the parents to hopefully lead the child to a significant change in behavior. But the truth is, I have to fit in disciplining students (which of course can't be scheduled) in between ARDs, required district meetings, PLCs, helping new teachers, completing state and federally mandated paperwork, managing technology, coordinating testing, handling struggling teachers, managing conflicts between coworkers, working with parents, organizing the next fundraiser, scheduling maintenance, etc, etc, etc...

    We are fortunate in that we have 4 administrators, a principal and 3 assistants, for 1200 kids, but we could easily benefit from one more person!
     
  9. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Oct 17, 2015

    Thank you all for your responses! I do work in a Middle School so we do have In School and Out of School Suspension and Detention which I gather the teacher can give the student and the student stays after school for about 1 hour with that teacher. We have a couple of alternative schools as well but I think there is stigma attached to one of them (only bad kids go there or something like that) but I think that we need to really look into what school environment is best for the student and the rest of the students affected by the behavior, etc.,
     

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