Dealing with the politics

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.SLS, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2011

    For the record, I've been around the forum for quite awhile but went and changed my user name to something more anonymous due to the nature of all of this..

    I was non-reelected, and the principal made some very... interesting comments as to the reasons, suggesting that it was because he didn't know "what side I was on." (There has been A LOT of political drama at my school this year, but I have NOT been involved in any way.) Because of these comments, in addition to a whole stack of complaints from other people that have been filed against this man, my union is seriously considering giving me a lawyer.

    In my conference, the principal also told me he has the power to bring me back, but that I need to "figure out who I really am." I was told by someone who had no idea I was non-reelect, that there is a list of teachers that they want to retain for next year, and my name was on that list. My concern is that he really is just playing mind games to see which teachers will suck up to him. (This individual has proven that he is very fond of mind games).

    If I do take legal action, my chances are zero of coming back. I want to confront the P about all of this, but I don't have any idea about how to do that without risking whatever little chance I have of coming back. I have gotten a number of letters of support from my department chair, senior members of staff, students, etc. I am considering presenting these to the P, doubting that he cares at all what other people think.

    :help:
     
  2.  
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2011

    Do you really want to work at this school with this principal?

    You could sit down with the principal and ask him what he needs from you. Let him know that you support his changes (if you do). He may think that you are being quiet because you do not support his changes and you would agree with the other teachers if you had tenure or more seniority???
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2011

    That's a tough decision. I would let him know this. Maybe sit down with him and discuss the changes that you have made and the special committees that you are a part of. Let him know that you are embracing the changes and implementing them in your classroom.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2011

    I don't know your principal. But I think that there is only one way you are going to keep your job. This is trying to talk with the principal and show him that you are truly embracing his ideas.

    Now, presenting letters could be a good thing or bad thing. Are these letters written by people that the principal thinks are on the other side from him? I might not use them if that is the case. However, if these letters are from people that the principal respects, then they would be a great addition.

    I would not mention the union though.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Mar 30, 2011

    I understand that it's not necessarily about wanting to work with this person, but protecting your source of income and career. I would speak to him again about "sides" and "finding your true self" and be very open. Acknowledge some tension or whatever it could be considered, but admit that you're not interested in getting involved. You're on the students' side, period. And you know who you are...a teacher committed to educating the young people of your community.
     
  7. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,769
    Likes Received:
    233

    Mar 30, 2011

    So, the other route is to let him win, but my question would be how you would do that? What would he need to see to believe you were "on his side?" Sounds like the stakes are high - if you could do something relatively harmless to give him his false sense of reassurance he's seeking, may be worth it to be able to continue to work in a school you love.

    Normally, I would support a position of being open and honest, but some people don't play that game. Could easily backfire, and trying to take the open and honest route could very well lead to him believing you're not at all on his side, regardless if that's important.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Mar 30, 2011

    I think you're posting under both names. :)
     
  9. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2011

    If you want to continue working there, then yes you should have a conversation with him. I would not bring the letters of support. He wants you to support HIM. He wants to know that you are on his team and that you are not an obstacle to him, working against him. Your letters of support won't matter to him. This is about him and who is behind him.

    You mentioned he was someone who acts without morals (not an exact quote). Sshintaku, you may very well be in the right. Those are difficult conditions to work under. But, it seems from your posts that you are willing to tough it out and stay.

    Unfortunately, you can't have it both ways though. You've got to either move on and work in an environment that you respect, or remain and do the best you can but stay under the radar.

    I hope this makes sense. Sounds like a difficult predicament.
     
  10. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2011

    Oh sheesh. I'm not so good at being covert.

    Ok, so then the new question is... what do I do? I kind of feel like by even approaching him on the subject, I am "questioning his authority" and he'll react negatively to that. Obviously though, a conversation needs to happen. So what do I say and do to "win the game?"
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Mar 30, 2011

    I guess I'd like to know more about the political issues at hand. I was thinking small town here, and in our small town actual political matters enter the education system...meaning certain educators being pressured to support particular candidates for sherrif and things of that nature. But I guess after reading things again you refer to general work politics? Oops. :unsure:

    I realize I said I understand it's not necessarily about wanting to work with this person, but protecting your source of income and career...but that doesn't easily translate to me being willing to lie about supporting him if that's not the case. But again, it depends on the issues at hand and if I need to be involved. If it doesn't naturally involve me, I'm just not a good game player.
     
  12. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,769
    Likes Received:
    233

    Mar 30, 2011

    I think that's the real question, and here's how I would phrase it even more specifically: What would he have to see you do or hear you say to be satisfied? Then, as a follow up, can you live with that?

    As to the first question, what are your guesses? JustMe brings up a good question about a bit more background into the politics - is there any more info that may be helpful? Also, one source of information is to look at people who are in his favor, and those who aren't. What are the differences between these two? What are the people who are "winning the game" actually doing to win?

    A conversation might be helpful if he were rational or willing to solve the problem, but there's no indication that he wants to address real issues, so I guess I would wonder what the goal would be of having such a conversation?
     
  13. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2011

    So a little background on the issue - Our entire administration was replaced this year. The new admin came in with guns blazing, threw out a lot of teacher's materials, insulted people, lied, etc. Many senior staff members have been very vocal about their displeasure and have done everything they can do be as difficult as possible. In response, administration is extremely defensive and generally unwilling to listen to what anyone has to say

    I had actually been accused of "enabling the enemy" by another staff member because I was working on a team to help build the benchmark tests requested by admin.

    As far as I can tell, the only people on his good side are members of the PE department (He is really big on athletics). Ironically, I've been coaching as well this year, and built up the team from 3 members to 18.
     
  14. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 31, 2011

    I've been called in today to have a conference.

    Any last minute words of wisdom?
     
  15. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 31, 2011

    Good luck! Smile a lot and continue to show your support of the administration where you can!
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Mar 31, 2011

    Good luck! We're here for you!
     
  17. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 31, 2011

    So, my evaluation was positive. He checked the "recommend to stay in the district" box. My return to the school is contingent upon whether or not I can turn the English department around by the end of the year.

    Oh Lord...
     
  18. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 31, 2011

    Wow, what do you have to turn them around on?

    If you don't turn them around, do you stay in the district just at a different school?
     
  19. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 31, 2011

    Well, we're the worst performing department in the school. And... it's full of the senior teachers who have been causing problems. I've already made benchmark tests, a pacing guide and a department website. I tried to get specifics, but all he would say is that the department needs energy to turn things around.

    I don't stay in the district - he's already filed the non-reelect on my contract. At least my evaluation was good?

    *sigh*
     
  20. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 31, 2011

    At least now you have a little more hope and guidance on what you need to do. I thought he checked the recommend to stay in the district...

    What would happen if you laid it out to the English teachers that you job depends on this?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 420 (members: 1, guests: 402, robots: 17)
test