How Many "Bad Administrators" Do You See Around You?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherman1, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    What is a bad administrator?

    To me a bad administrator is:
    * One who has had little or no actual classroom experience
    * One who does does not like kids
    * One who does not support his/her staff
    * One who believes classroom discipline is the teacher's job
    * One who believes that a teacher's responsibility is solely to the school - at the expense of his or her own family
    * One who expects uniformity and conformity in the students and the teachers
    * One who focuses only on the negative - never on the positive
    * One who shows obvious favoritism to certain students and faculty
    * One who can't handle constructive criticism no matter how it is presented

    And, using this criteria, I've only seen one or two good ones. The rest usually did more harm than good.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My first principal was a blatant racist that hated special education students (and teachers... she had either fired or "recommended resignation" to thirty special ed teachers in fifteen years) with a passion. My second two principals, I would consider to be good principals, though both had very different management styles.
     
  4. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    And this has me thinking, now. School administrators are not only the principals and vice-principals. They are also the Superintendents and "Chief Academic Officers" and Commisioners of Education.

    Wouldn't Arnie Duncan be considered an administrator? Here's his experience:
    "U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who oversees a federal agency that spent $134.8 billion in fiscal 2009, tutored kids as a young student but has never professionally taught inside a classroom." - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article...room-teaching-experience#sthash.RcUuOuls.dpuf

    And when they're no good, it effects entire school systems in many ways - especially teacher moral.
     
  5. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I currently have 2 fabulous administrators. I don't always agree with them, but I believe that they always make decisions based on what they feel is best for the kids.

    The worst administrator I had was one who micromanaged everyone. He didn't trust a single teacher in the building (and there were 200 of us) to do our jobs, so he drove himself and the rest of us crazy trying to control everything that happened. We had to present lessons in a lock-step fashion. We turned in our plans every Friday afternoon, and on Monday, we'd get feedback. If your plans were different from your teams, you had to explain to him exactly why. We all dreaded the "see me" notes he'd leave in our boxes. That meant that you had done something, somewhere, somehow to displease him. He also gave us "tickets" for coming late to duty, or turning something in a bit late. It was humiliating. At first, those of us who did our jobs were glad for this kind of scrutiny. We felt like someone was finally holding those few that were lazy or unprofessional accountable for their behavior. But then we discovered that NO ONE was really good enough... It was exhausting. We all walked on egg shells.

    Still, I'd rather have that than one who lets the kids run wild....
     
  6. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    So how many kids did that one poor administrator indirectly affect, I wonder? If there were 200 teachers, then it was a good sized school.

    If teacher moral was way down, then many of them were probably not performing at their best. Wouldn't that have a huge effect on the school's overall performance?
     
  7. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    This the only one that applies to my admin.

    Even though a few of them have little classroom experience they are still excellent admin. They listen, communicate well, etc the whole enchilada.

    I don't think you need a lot of classroom experience to be a great admin. Excellent communication skills, understanding and being a well-rounded person can bring you plenty of success.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here, you cannot be an administrator without extensive classroom experience across a variety of grades.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    So happy to say zero! Not that everything is done to my liking, but I'm pretty happy with the lot I have.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Thankfully, only my 2nd principal. I left after her first year, she stayed. The next year she started to get shuffled around. Don't know what she's doing now.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    None at this time. Bad administrators are usually short-term administrators in my school.
     
  13. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    The director of my school is just awful. I don't know that she counts as an "administrator".
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I have worked with 5 different administrators. I would say 1 was not that good.
     
  15. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Just to clarify; we can complain about administrators whom we don't agree with, but if we complain about ineffective teachers, we're traitors or immoral?

    Got it.
     
  16. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    No one has said that. You're reaching as usual.
     
  17. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Really? Read the tone on this board anytime someone suggests that a teacher or group of teachers is ineffective. They'll burn that poster in effigy.
     
  18. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    I don't see that at all. In fact I think teachers are more hard on each other than admin. Compare the two threads going on now. Far more incompetent teacher/colleague stories vs. admin.
     
  19. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Love, love, love my P. I could talk all night about how awesome he is!
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have only two administrators (not counting the office staff) and they're both fantastically fantastic. I love them both.

    My first teaching job, I had two admins, and one seemed good but was absent for a lot of the year and had a sub. The VP was horrible. But then again he was moved to our school after being fired from a High School, and didn't really learn much from that lesson.
     
  21. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    In my 40 years of teaching I have only one administrator who was truly incompetent. That administrator insisted on setting up every classroom each fall, including bulletin boards. Then we had to leave the classroom that way all year. We would get written up if we moved any of the furniture or changed the bulletin boards.

    We had to count (in the presence of the P) every paper clip, pen, rubber band, etc that we were given in the fall. We repeated the process at school's end and had to account for all missing items.

    This P had a favorite teacher whose job was to stand outside classrooms whenever two or more teachers happened to be talking. That favorite teacher would then report back to the P about the conversation. Then, if the P felt anyone in the conversation said something this P didn't like, the P would show up in the offender's classroom, or anywhere the offender was. The screaming P would berate the teacher...didn't matter who was listening.

    All told, it was an uncomfortable year. I left at the end of the year and moved to a different state. Heard later that the P was fired for embezzlement. What goes around...
     
  22. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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  23. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I've worked in 3 different schools. My first admins were great, my second P and AP were horrendous, and my current admins are great.

    Characteristics of my "great" admins:
    -Very professional attitude with everyone- no playing favorites.
    -Truly care about the kids, which they show through both words and actions. Care about kids for more than just their test scores.
    -Share accountability with teachers- both academically and behaviorally. Actually take an active role as disciplinarians.
    -Give positive feedback to staff, and any "negative" feedback is truly constructive, realistic, and attainable. Willing to help with any need a teacher has.
    -Lots of varied teaching experience

    My "horrendous" admin-
    -Completely played the "favorites" game- might as well have been in 8th grade with the "popular clique" again...openly mocked and made fun of other teachers in the presence of their "favorites"
    -Used evaluations/walkthroughs as a "gotcha" tool, told blatant lies on evaluations to get rid of people they didn't like
    -ONLY gave negative feedback- literally. They would say that we would get positive feedback when the school was 80% proficient on state test.
    -Had absolutely no role in disciplining students whatsoever. We weren't allowed to write referrals or send students to the office even for incidents like severe violence. Teachers that started calling the police themselves (for incidents such as fights that resulted in serious injury) were written up.
    -Verbally attacked anyone who dared speak up in a staff meeting or other professional situation
    -Made racially deragotry comments about/to staff and about students of the same race on a regular basis
    -Had two years of teaching experience- one at a private catholic school and one as a high school math teacher (this was an inner city public elementary principal)
     
  24. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    In 8 years of teaching in 2 districts I have worked under:

    5 superintendents (1 excellent, 2 okay, 2 terrible)
    3 elementary principals (1 excellent, 1 okay, 1 HIDEOUS)
    5 high school principals (none were terrible, but none were great)
    1 middle school principal (okay)
    1 dean of students (massively ADHD)

    Yes...that is 15 total administrators!!!

    My two districts were small so I count them all because I had regular contact and PD lead by all of these people. Lets just say it hasn't exactly been stellar administration for me. This is one reason I'm going into administration, because I'm tired of seeing terrible administrators!!!
     
  25. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Sadly, I can't recall a single administrator in 22 years that hasn't met the description of either most or all of those nine categories. :(
     
  26. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    And how about the DiLBERT Principle:
    "the concept that in many cases the least competent, least smart people are promoted, simply because they’re the ones you don't want doing actual work."
     

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