A Micromanaging Boss

Discussion in 'General Education' started by nycgirl, May 13, 2014.

  1. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    May 13, 2014

    I’m glad I found this forum, this is a chance for me to get some input on the situation at work.

    I’m working with a Boss who is micromanaging me, at first I saw this as an opportunity to help me become a better educator in the field I’m in, but some of the comments are belittling.

    The micromanagement isn’t necessarily about my lack of but HIS expectations, and the benefits which seemed clear at the beginning are feeling a bit murky. Even though we are giving extra holiday time, there’s no personal days, at most, up to three, which has to be made up on your day off or during summer school, the extra holidays are to compensate for for the lack of “0” personal days, which doesn’t make any sense, you can’t schedule when you are going to get a cold, or need a personal day off, etc.

    My working environment may be different than most on this forum, but I still think the same professionalism and work ethic on both ends, employee or employer apply, I’m just finding myself dreading going to work. I could do a task, or teach a lesson as instructed, but he’ll find something he didn’t like.

    I can go into more detail but I’m not sure if this forum is open to only registered members or if the public can see what I’m writing?

    Thanks so much
    =)
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The public can see what you post...nothing online is ever truly private.

    So is it your contract language regarding work days, vacations that you see as micromanagement? Or is it some other issues?
     
  4. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    Other issues, the comments, and expectations make me feel inadequate. One comment was the long length of time I was in the industry, I was told by him “you are actually a beginner” was really hurtful, I tried to defend myself stating that all institutions are different, and so are expect ions. I could have had a successful class, but no matter what, he’ll find something to criticise, when at first I thought this would help me, I am now dreading going to work.

    The demands are that I know all the course materials and which sequence they go into for their particular curriculum in less than a month and their support cards (flashcards) that they want used. The only way to actually know is, is through teaching, or reading all five course books and units, which I’ve been doing in between classes. I’m giving my own autonomy but then it’s taken away, because while I was told to find my own way or use my own style, he doesn’t like it, he insists on making a detailed plan that I follow, which I have no problem with, but I feel like I can’t really communicate, in the beginning I was told a previous teacher was over confident, that he didn’t like, so I toned it down (I teach pre-k through 3rd grade elementary in one day).

    But that was met with, “Why don’t you have confidence in memorising all the songs for the pre-k classes” I was afraid to show too much confidence. Every material, card, book has to be in its place, which I understand how important it is to be organised but all the comments are circling in my head, really makes me feel bad about myself, if it were constructive, I’d feel differently. He doesn’t understand that he knows the curriculum back to front because he’s being using it for many years whereas I’ve only being using this type and style for less than two months.

    Thank you for all your support and help =)
     
  5. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    I appreciate the 4 week vacation days we need, but they don’t observe public holidays because it’s a private school. Winter Break, Summer Break and Spring, those are where the four weeks are contained, but it was suggested by the Owner of the school that the extra two weeks are given to compensate for having extreme difficulty taking days off, whereas I was under the impression that you can take them, but just not convectively, which is frustrating, I missed a day (sick day) but I have to teach on my day off, or during summer school so really I don’t get any personal days is becoming more apparent, even though legally after 6 months, working Full Time, we are allotted 10 days.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    May 13, 2014

    Some principals become principals because they truly love children, and want to make a difference for them.

    Some principals become principals because they are better leaders of men than of men-to-be.

    Some principals become principals because they love the sound of their own voice, love having authority, and don't have the physical ability to become drill sergeants.

    When dealing with a micromanager, the best thing to do is keep your head down, avoid causing any waves, and DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT the fact that you are doing everything you have been asked to do. Preferably while sending out resumes to every other district in the nearby area.

    I'm guessing you're a music teacher... unless your principal happens to be a certified music teacher, a simple, "Mr. Principal, I'd love to see you model expectations for me, would you be willing to teach a lesson I've prepared so I can get a better idea of what you're looking for?" will probably be enough to get him to back off a bit, since most principals know as much about teaching music as I do about nuclear engineering. And I am NOT a man with much knowledge of nuclear engineering.
     
  7. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    May 13, 2014

    I work for a private school, but for the EFL department, I teach EFL, in that department, HE is One headmaster, of that department.

    I teach your typical EFL course, to kids pre-k up to 3rd grade. In my pre-k and kinder classes, there are many songs in a strict curriculum which is set up, which I appreciate, but, I’m new to this school/dept, my headmaster’s obsesses over the most minute details, and yes of course I should know the song, but he expects me to curb any of my personal life, and study the curriculum outside of school.

    We have three hours prep time, I read the teachers books and manuals to get myself attuned and familiar with the new curriculum and style which I’ve never taught before, but some of the comments, and to what I believe are ridicules expectations, down to the colour pen I use and how I correct the papers to checking some of my students workbooks to find me in error, TOO much.

    For example: I tried to go above and beyond and date the pages (for my own organisation), but also dating them for homework given, or going back and re-dating for one or two I forgot to date set me up for disaster,

    I was accused of going ahead too much, even though I was told to find my own style, assuming once we got the bulk of the writing out of the way (which was reviewed in class already) that I could concentrate more on the “teaching” “learning”, so I was criticised for this.

    In another example, a new student joined (April is when our new terms start) we were one Chapter ahead so I had to dual teach, bring the new student up to the second Chapter, which I did in one class while teaching all my other students a review.

    I was then told what I did was appropriate, like a pat on the back, but then I mentioned we did the page in the other book as well, EVEN though the material was reviewed, he found fault in this. I assumed is the material was covered, then it would makes sense to allow them to do the writing part of the workbook to get them caught up. I just feel like he wants things his way, and his way only, and at first I thought I could use his micromanaging as a way to help me become a better teacher, but now, two months in, I feel disparaged by some of his comments, which doesn’t make me feel very good about myself, and I’m questioning myself now, and losing self-esteem, now, dreading going to work.

    This is who he is, he won’t change, but he can’t compare my work to his, he gets paid for his work the extra that he does, he’s the headmaster, I’m not, and he knows the curriculum inside and out, but while he says he doesn’t want me to be a mirror of him, that is just what he wants. It’s impossible to master five teachers manuals that come with all the books in two months, when he’s had more than six years. I’ve asked to sit in on his classes, but he said it’s pointless, as I have my own style, which he wants me to have seems to contradict his actions.

    I have had Step Throat, I took a day off, I might have to take today off too, I’m feeling much better, but I still feel crappy and need another day to completely get rid of my fever, but I was told I’ll have to come in on my day off to make up the classes that will be cancelled, so I understand their position, and I know I can’t be replaced and my classes have to be cancelled, and I could see myself pushing myself to go in anyway with how I’m feeling, but I’m really unhappy being there, as much as I tried to sweep it off my shoulders, the comments and micromanaging has been really belittling. Sorry to vent =)
     
  8. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    I should also mention, that I have to be careful of my tone, there is a mistake in one of the approved books which is part of the curriculum , I had the flashcards out of sequence, (I think it’s too much to expect me third week in to know where they all go and their sequence, and order, which you can’t know unless you’ve gone through EVERY chapter in all the books, I haven’t had enough time to read all the teachers manuals back to back, which is the only way to know what sequence they go in, and all chapters), but he said, “oh, and here they made a mistake in their printing” but I misunderstood and I said “sorry, was that MY mistake”? He said by me saying this, I annoyed him, from there on, I knew I couldn’t communicate with him.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 13, 2014

    Yikes. Get out of there. I wouldn't be able to handle two minutes of that.
     
  10. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    Hi Peregrin5 =) and thank you too Gr3teacher =)

    So it’s not me being too emotional or too sensitive? I’m sure others can deal with this, but I’m not built for it, if I didn’t care and was there just to make money, I could try and fake it, but I care about my reputation and career, which I’m going to lose for taken off for Strep Throat, I fear!
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 14, 2014

    Are you registered to sub in the local school districts? That would be one way out.

    People like him get their jollies by intimidating people. It will be difficult, but, if you are going to stay in this position, you are going to have to learn to stand up to this guy and not allow him to intimidate you. Watch how the other teachers deal with him. Stop apologizing to him. I love the idea of forcing him to model his teaching.

    Actually, I wouldn't follow my own advice, however. I would get out of there.
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 14, 2014

    It might just be his style too: some people see that their job is to constantly gives you ways to improve, not rewarding you for the good stuff you are doing. Doesn't sound very fair, but you could ask at some point during the conversation: "Thanks for all of the recommendations on how to improve on my [lesson, activity, etc], do you mind sharing some areas of strength you think this [lesson, activity, etc] has?"

    I have a new P this year and it's her first year as a principal- so she's learning too, plus she's not from my school community. She gave me a lot of suggestions on how to improve, but I also reached out to her to check in about seeing what she thought I had strengths in. It's really helped our relationship and I understand her strategies better and she knows my teaching abilities better too.
     
  13. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    nycgirl, if you don't mind me asking, are you teaching in new york or somewhere else?

    *I also agree with what the other posters have said... many hugs*
     
  14. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    Thank you swansong1, it’s starting to reflect how I view myself, and I’m questioning my own ability, and his comments, really make me feel crappy about myself. The control he has to have, yet he tries to support giving me my own autonomy, contradict his behaviour, it’s very confusing. I think it’s just him, but I can’t see myself working in that type of atmosphere for very long, my hesitancy was changing jobs in the middle of the term, but for the sake of my own sanity, I might just have to, but it might take some time to transfer out.
     
  15. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    I also took notice that every teacher has transferred out the end of each term for the last seven or so years, I’m not sure if that means anything or not?
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    There is most likely a direct correlation between his behavior and the reaction of other teachers. In other words, yepyepyepyep.
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 14, 2014

    No surprise there :(
     
  18. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    Thankfully, I do have second career, (working on getting licensed for) which I think I’ll put more of my focus on, in that field while I plan on getting out of this uncomfortable situation.
     
  19. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Yes, if a particular position has a 100% turnover rate, that's generally a bad sign.
     
  20. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    May 15, 2014

    To be fair, the institution and the curriculum is by far one of the better organized schools, but the Principal is fair and very approachable. When I was posting this I was feeling really upset, and had a bad cold, and my headmaster is also very disciplined toward himself and has worked hard BUT, while I keep my eyes open, with options I'm going to give it my best, and take some if the criticisms to help me grow as an educator, but the sometimes demeaning comments or micromanaging is where I really need help, do I take them all under consideration and not take them as being attacked but how to emotionally let them roll off, I find myself rolling my eyes sometimes and I don't like that negativity because I don't want to give off that vibe either ;) any advice or suggestions with how to cope better?

    Thank you all so much!!!!
     
  21. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess my best advice to cope with the situation is to realize the guy is a whackadoodle and keep telling yourself that his comments are not directed at you...they seem to be directed at 100% of the teachers...since they all quit each year.
     
  22. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    Thank you so much, hearing the comments from others that I’m actually not just being overly sensitive helps me relax, I wish the environment were different, it’s (other than that) supportive and friendly, but very structured and a wee bit uptight.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2014

    having flash cards in a specific order and knowing all the lyrics to scripted teaching songs is not growing as an educator.


    Get out of that environment as soon as you can.:2cents:
     
  24. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    I may get stoned but I'm going to go against popular opinion and say you appear to be over reacting and emotional based on the comments you have reported he has said.

    I think you misunderstood his meaning:

    Example: “you are actually a beginner”

    if you are a first year teacher, that would be a true statement. not sure why that would upset you.

    2. "“Why don’t you have confidence in memorising all the songs for the pre-k classes” I was afraid to show too much confidence."

    I can't speak for him, but you should NEVER "tone it down" and make yourself unsure or lack confidence to please anyone. I don't know who told you about the previous teacher, but I would hazard to guess they are lying or mistaken as well. Why would someone not like confidence?

    Especially in a teacher and what they teach.

    3. he said, “oh, and here they made a mistake in their printing” but I misunderstood and I said “sorry, was that MY mistake”? He said by me saying this, I annoyed him, from there on, I knew I couldn’t communicate with him.

    Why couldn't you communicate with him?

    you should have apologized for misunderstanding him. he was just trying to help you by pointing out the error in the textbook so that you wouldn't teach it to your students.

    4. I do think its unreasonable for him NOT to want you to observe his classroom. We do it in our department a lot to just get ideas for classroom management, etc.

    had to look up ELC...

    You show a lot of self confidence issues.

    I'm not sure if he is the cause of it or not. However, my advice to you is "Don't ever try to be less that your best to please someone else."

    Take his advice with a grain of salt. If there is some truth in it, learn from it. However, if you know you did your best, don't beat yourself over the head with guilt and start losing confidence. You are new to the school and the curriculum, anyone with half an ounce of sense will know you are learning.

    Don't give up.
     
  25. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    Thank you for your reply, it was actually the headmaster who mentioned that the prior teacher was over confident, in the industry and country I’m in, it’s a bit complicated with having too much confidence, so I wasn’t sure if I should pull back, or “be myself”.

    I went from private school teaching to teaching the “cram school style", I have been teaching for about 15 years, so his comment, I definitely took it personally, their style of teaching is almost a 360 degree difference from your typical teaching layout/style.

    For example, there are about 100 flashcards, all with various levels of sequence. They are all minor things, but there are so many of them in one day that it’s becoming unbearable.

    The noting of “how I take notes, and how I should write them down” should be for my reference, but he wants to control this as well (what colour pen, I should use pencil so on and so forth, how I write my notes out), we had a long vacation, and each lesson, is listed on a document, where I write the date FOR My reference only, I put the “weeks date we were in” not the actual date, such as long as I do the proper lesson for that day, he screamed at me in class, (I’m on information overload) in front of my students, noting that “he is tired of babysitting me". That was it for me, I said, if you think you can find a better suited teacher, than perhaps you should find another teacher. (I probably shouldn’t have said that, but he screamed at me, and I was angry). Essentially he wants me to be like him, whereas he has started with this particular curriculum, and knows the teachers edition inside and out, and class books for 10 years, and I’ve only known it for two months.

    I think, I have some resentment taking this position, there isn’t any room for advancement, which is something that drives me, and taking any days off that are outside of which is allocated (we get 10 personal days a year) is frowned upon, and then I risk my contract not being renewed, this information on top of not getting along with the headmaster is disappointing.

    I feel that I can’t communicate with him, even though he said to approach him with even the most mundane questions, I get a backlash of “you should know this”, or “why you don’t know this”.

    In all my years working in various industries, I’ve never really worked with someone like this before, but the no possibility of advancement is really depressing, since that has always been my drive, knowing there is roadblock no matter how hard I work, deters me a little.

    I’m trying not to give up on this job, but despite all my hard work and efforts, he finds faults, I think as a headmaster, or a leader, you have to praise someone’s efforts as well.

    I do appreciate your advise and allowing me to vent here, but I’m very close to giving notice, and changing company’s/schools.
     
  26. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    I feel like that is going to be my only option at this point. Thank you for pointing that out, I thought I was over reacting possibly.
     
  27. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    I was honestly thinking the same thing. I've noticed that a lot of times on this board, people reply to the emotional content of the original poster, not the factual content.

    I don't think anything described has been too terrible, but I see how it would rub you the wrong way, nycgirl. My advice would be to absorb the criticism if you can, and start applying to other jobs. Sometimes you just clash with a superior and you just need an escape route.
     
  28. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    I think this is terrible advice. I don't know any teacher who ever suggested the principal teach the lesson as a way to get them to back off. I think that would make things ten times worse.
     
  29. nycgirl

    nycgirl Rookie

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    I think so too, it's funny, the moment I seriously consider changing schools I'm reeled back in again, with the headmaster being kind/nurturing the best way he knows how. It was starting to affect me personally, in my personal life, feeling lack of patience, irritable, unhappy, and I'm the opposite. I think my situation may be different whereas l find it disappointing that there's no room for advancement, like there is in your typical BOE.

    I'm not sure what to do but I'm putting out feelers just in case I want to change company's, I'm just not sure I want to bring work home which is expected without the possibility of advancing my career within this school, my only option here, is to finish my graduate studies and teach at the university level as an assistant.
     

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