Dealing with a difficult principal

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherWhoRuns, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    49

    Nov 15, 2017

    Has anyone ever had a principal who talks to the staff as if we are students? It's like everything is a lecture and if you ask a question for clarification, she responds as if you're arguing with her.

    This is a new principal, so we've been trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. She replaced someone who was very loved and who gave the staff a lot of autonomy. The new P came in and took over everything with a very micro-managing style. Everybody is just trying to meet expectations at this point. l think most of us could adapt to the controlling style, but the micromanaging is combined with bad communication and constant swipes at our former administrator.

    It's gotten to a point where many teachers who were looking at retirement down the road are actively planning to leave at the end of this school year.

    Any tips? At this point I just keep my head down and try to stay under the radar.
     
  2.  
  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,860
    Likes Received:
    734

    Nov 15, 2017

    I used to work for someone just like this. Just a fair warning, I thought it was best to keep my head down and stay under the radar. Then the P accused me of "not making a social effort with her." :rolleyes: She was highly offended that I didn't try to pal around with her. At my mid-year eval, her exact words were, "You're one of the best teachers in this school, but I don't like you. I don't think your personality is a good fit for this school." Luckily, I had the foresight to resign prior to non-renewal decisions coming out so that I didn't have to report it on my applications. I got a job in a much better school the following year; I've been here for six years and am much more appreciated!

    Some people at my former school were just a lot better at "faking it" than I was. I worked summer school with an instructional coach who seemed to be BFFs with the crazy P. Since she knew I was leaving anyway, she confided in me. She told me how even being around the P made her physically sick and how much it stressed her out to have to work so closely with her.

    Three years later, the P got fired mid-year for using school funds for happy hour and posting about it on FB! After that the district admin started taking the nearly 300 grievances that were filed against her seriously (and think how many people are afraid to file a grievance, so that number doesn't reflect everything that happened). After an investigation was conducted she ended up losing both her teaching and admin licenses. It's too bad she was allowed to terrorize the school for three years first.
     
    AmyMyNamey likes this.
  4. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    108

    Nov 15, 2017

    No tips - my school also going through transition of principal and it is so difficult to adjust. I think our new principal will end up being fine, but I am not great at transition and I'm attempting same as you - to just keep doing my job and sort of stay out of the waves. It's difficult to see how it will go and terrible to compare. My previous principal was really great. I didn't realize how great until he wasn't here any more! I think I might be too good on focusing on what isn't working. Negative is powerful. I'm spending this semester trying to focus on the positive and sharing it at meetings. I don't mean to sound like a Pollyanna, but it does help me. But I think I'd be pissed if the new principal felt it needed to put down the old. That verges on not taking responsibility. Hang in there. Next year might make it all worthwhile.
     
  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Nov 15, 2017

    They’ll wear out their welcome.
     
  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    470

    Nov 15, 2017

    Not soon I enough I would imagine!
     
  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    470

    Nov 15, 2017

    I have an AP who is power hungry and loves being in control of everything and wants a finger in every pie. Said AP is too incompetent to have a finger in any pie let alone multiple pies and does not have the respect of staff. Pains me to be pleasant to this person on a day to day basis and my patience is wearing thin. I feel so disgusted with myself for smiling and pretending all is well around this AP because not doing so will mean various curveballs will inevitably be thrown your way.
     
  8. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    515

    Nov 17, 2017

    I went back to school for my administrative services credential and was sorely disappointed that the program did not include a course on EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT. Sure, there were courses like The Principalship, or School Administration 101 and Problem-Solving 101, but they were mostly limited to the nuts and bolts of running a school. Aspiring administrators should be made to demonstrate, through challenging field projects, their competency of effecting real changes in an actual school.

    Once they are on the job, all the Las Vegas school administrator conferences in the world won't help them to become better principals!
     
    Backroads likes this.
  9. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Nov 17, 2017

    Mine was almost entirely management and building a positive culture.
     
  10. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    515

    Nov 17, 2017

    We should all be so lucky! If only that would be the norm, dedicated teachers would not be leaving the profession in droves. Hopefully, you won't be transferred to a failing school next year or your P won't be retiring soon!
     
  11. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Nov 17, 2017

    I meant my leadership program but all the leaders in my district are from that mold too.
     
  12. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    515

    Nov 17, 2017

    Sorry about that! What mold are you referring to?
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Nov 18, 2017

    You wrote: “I went back to school for my administrative services credential and was sorelydisappointed that the program did not include a course on EFFECTIVEMANAGEMENT.”

    I was saying my program dealt mainly with what you wished yours had. My district leaders also act like they passed through this kind of program. That’s the mold I was referring to.
     
  14. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    515

    Nov 18, 2017

    Although I've retired, I was just wondering - is there any way others can find out what district you work in, so that they might apply there as well? Or do the forum guidelines restrict sharing info of this kind.
     
  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Nov 18, 2017

    I would argue most districts are actually like mine. I’m in a smaller district.
     
  16. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    515

    Nov 18, 2017

    I'm not looking for an argument, but am wondering why you have reached the conclusion that most districts are like yours. I've worked in six widely diverse districts in California ranging from highly affluent (2 million dollar homes) to inner-city and encountered way more incompetent superintendents and principals than competent ones. The smallest district consisting of only two schools presented some of the toughest challenges for its teachers. Unfortunately, I have very few fond memories of my 33-year career in public education.
     
  17. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Nov 18, 2017

    I’ve worked in 3, interned in 2 others, have friends in orthers, and have never experienced anything like the craziness I read on here.

    Granted, I work in a state that functions so maybe that clouds my judgement.
     
  18. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,667
    Likes Received:
    230

    Nov 18, 2017

    Sorry, OP, but I am in the same boat as you.
     
  19. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    515

    Nov 18, 2017

    Many burned out young teachers on this forum have written that they are desperately looking for a sane school district/state in which to apply - they're willing to relocate. Perhaps you can at least let them know what state your're in. Share the good news!
     
  20. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Nov 18, 2017

    NJ. It’s very hard to find employment.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. sbmesmmsop
Total: 275 (members: 4, guests: 251, robots: 20)
test