How often...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, May 30, 2018.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    As I wrap up year #13 in my district (can't believe how quickly the years have flown by), I'm reflecting on my job as an administrator. One question comes to mind that I'd like to ask my AtoZ friends: how often do you talk to your administrators? There are some teachers who never ask for anything, never email, and barely say hello. Others, though, are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Just curious how often you communicate with your admin team.
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I talk to my administrators daily. They are an integral part of the faculty and are generally great problem solvers. Basically, they are the go-to persons when I don’t know an answer to something involving school policy or I have to deal with a disciplinary situation.

    Overall, I have a great working relationship with my P and VP and I couldn’t do my job without them because they are so helpful at times. It just goes to show why they are paid the big bucks!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Hello YTG,
    Your question about communication between admins and teachers is an interesting one. Of the 12+ admin. that I worked with, most tended to have poor people skills and more often than not just gave lip-service to school-wide problems - teachers would only communicate with them on an as-needed basis. Of course, those who are fortunate enough to have Ps and VPs who actually care about helping their teachers would have much more dialog. I believe there's a direct correlation between mutually shared respect, support and trust and the amount of communication between teachers and their administrators.
     
  5. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    I rarely see my administrators and have had the same one for 11 years. I usually try to stay away as much as I can. No real reason other than I feel like I'm bothering him. He already has those in the building who he talks to regularly.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This is my first year at this site. People are still getting to know me. At my last site, though, everyone came to me for everything. It got a little overwhelming at times, but I felt that the staff truly trusted me and knew that I'd help. When I left the site, they presented me with a plaque that read: To Our Get It Done Guy.

    The current staff members are starting to call, email, and stop by more often, though. It's actually a good feeling because I know that they've been putting out their feelers all year long.
     
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  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sometimes a lot; sometimes very little. I do not approach them about every little thing, so they know that if I need them, it is important to me. If I need to talk about something lengthy, I'll usually preface it with an email; it's rare to find them available to talk for an extended period without a prior arrangement. With a student body of approaching 750 and a staff of well over 50, they are just too busy for everyone to drop in to chat.

    That said, my admin are incredibly caring and supportive and I know I can talk to them about anything--professional or personal--and they will do all within their power to support us.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I've had five principals in my 25 years with my district. I'm not one to hang out with admins in general, but some I did talk to more than others. Sometimes it was because of my role within the school, and sometimes it was because they were just more approachable.
     
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Here and there. Sometimes every day, sometimes not for several days. Sometimes about problems that need to be solved, sometimes about celebrations over something, sometimes simply to connect as human beings :) ...just like with my students: we celebrate, we solve problems, we connect as human beings, and they find a good balance between when a good time to chat with the teacher is and when it's best to wait or solve their own problem.
     
  10. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I teach at a huge, sprawling high school -- our campus covers several city blocks -- so I can go days or even weeks without seeing an admin. I email occasionally when something comes up, maybe once a month? I should really make a point of going by to check in more often, but half the time, when I walk all the way up to the office, they're not even around, and I get stuck talking to the office ladies :)
     
  11. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    It depends. My 1st-never, kept the door closed and only spoke to department heads. My 2nd, never, except when he was unsatisfied with my progress, but always talked with my VP. My 3rd, all the time--she was very personable and always helpful, always around the building, working with the kids. My 4th - gave her VPs all the dirty work and never left her office. My 5th, and the best I've ever had, no, but I knew he had my back if I needed him. Never saw him unless you did something wrong. My 6th and 7th--quite a lot, and then they turned around and started doing lip service for upstairs and became two-faced and deceitful. My 8th, the 2nd best, always in there with all of us. My 9th, no, and my skin crawled every time he spoke. My 10th, no, but he was approachable, just didn't see the need to, my VP all the time though (still the one I have now). And finally, my 11th, my current--I want to run screaming from the room whenever she comes near me. I only speak to her when I have to--still talk to the VP though. Hope he doesn't leave!
     
  12. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Occasionally, but it really only when the admins are out and about in the building. I can go days without going into the office.
     
  13. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    I would say almost everyday, even if it is just a hello walking students to the bus. Some times they are both busy. But I try to stay away from the office unless it is a parent issue or an academic concern. My principal does a walk through almost every day when she is in the building. Sometimes we chat then but it's a quick in and out.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Almost daily to at least say hi. We're a small school and our P is usually out roaming the halls in between classes. If he has a lot of meetings though, then I may not see him. This is our first year with an assistant principal, and I usually say hi to him every day too. He's usually outside on parking lot duty when I arrive.
     
  15. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I've had 4 principals and didn't speak much to any of them. In my 1st year of teaching, I asked the AP for advice and she gladly obliged. Last year, I spoke to the AP often but didn't really say much to the P besides the "I'm fine, how are you?" spiel. It's to the point where I go to admin on how to deal with certain students or situations or to find out the climate and culture of the school.
     
  16. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Admin doesn't hear from me unless I have a major problem, so never. I'm friendly and all that, but I see no need to spend all day in their office like some people.
     
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  17. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    I say hello to my principals everyday when I see them and they do the same. They are both very friendly. I especially LOVE our assistant principal, she is so personal and relatable. I'm so sad that our principal has been promoted and will be leaving this year.
    This year I fell sick with stomach problems and had to leave school early to go to the emergency room. My principal texted me throughout the day to check-in and see how I was doing. We are also a smaller elementary school with about 600 students and 35 staff.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    When I did my student teaching I didn't see the principal for the entire four months I was there.
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I smile and say hi in passing, but that's mostly it. I don't get too personal with them. I only go into their office when I need something major, urgent, or both. I email them for lessor things, but I still only try to get them involved when needed. I'm definitely not the type to be in their office daily, but I do have some colleagues that are that way.
     
  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    There's one (or several) at every site! Haha!
     
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  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I talk with my principal several times a day, but we have a small faculty and she is also my mentor as I finish my own administrative license.
     
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  22. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I regularly talk to my principal. Being on the NVCI team, I am regularly called upon to assist when there are issues... I also fill in in the office when the principal/vice-principal are out.
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Welcome back! Where’ve you been?
     
  24. Curriculum Chef

    Curriculum Chef Rookie

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    It depends on the principal. I talked to everyone who seemed friendly when I was teaching. Some teachers talk to admin. often because they just want to kiss butt, IMHO.

    I have also been the teacher who never bothered admin. So it just depends.
     
  25. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Outside of the daily hellos, not much.
     
  26. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Depends. My last P, I was definitely that weirdo in the office. I worked very late and she worked very late. Sometimes we'd work next to each other just to keep each other company. We'd order food and chat, etc. She grew to be a friend. I saw her multiple times a day.

    My current P I like a lot, but I keep more distant/strictly professional. She's out of the building frequently and sometimes I don't see her all day or for multiple days. I don't find her as approachable as my last P. To be fair, I'm also way less involved on a school-wide basis and don't have as much of a need to interact with her as I did my old P.
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I've never sought out an admin "just to chat" in any of the 3 schools I've worked in. They seem too busy for that, and frankly so am I. Sometimes I'm in meetings where as a specialist, I stay all day, but classroom teachers rotate in and out by grade level (i.e. data teams or MTSS mtgs) so we end up with extra time in between meetings. During those times I do end up chatting with admin if they stay in the room too.

    As for going for help with issues, going to admin would be my absolute last resort after exhausting other resources (teammates, friends, even posting somewhere like here would come first). I am forthcoming in evaluation/check in meetings, but I don't really seek out additional help. I guess I'm nervous that it would be perceived as weakness from me.

    I've worked for 4 different admin teams in my career and only disliked one of them. Even with the other 3, I would never consider them "friends." I think the teacher/admin relationship is different than the relationship I can have with other coworkers.
     
  28. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Congratulations on completing your 13th year in your district! How long have you been working as assistant principal? Your question about teacher-admin. communications reminded me of the underlying social dynamics that occur in schools.

    First of all, I should like to point out that the generic title of "administrator" carries with it the connotation of one who is simply responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of an organization. Administrators in any field are usually not known for their strong people skills. Unfortunately, most school administrator credential programs fail to address effective management practices that optimize worker productivity.

    Here are a few suggestions for your consideration that may help everyone to feel more at ease communicating with administrators at your school - these are practices that are common in many Fortune 500 companies.
    • Extend (i.e model) a friendly greeting to every employee that you encounter throughout the day (every day).
    • Seek opportunities to acknowledge/compliment employees for jobs exceptionally well-done: custodian sweeping the halls, teacher dealing with a difficult student or parent, para temporarily covering a class for a teacher. This includes not only 1:1 communications, but also public recognition (at staff meetings).
    • Solicit staff input for solutions to school-wide problems.
    • Respond quickly to employee requests for assistance of any kind.
    • Find ways to demonstrate your respect, support and trust to the staff every day.
    • Become personally involved in planning and executing a special school celebration for National Teachers' Day (invite parents if appropriate) to show your sincere appreciation.
    • Solicit your principal's help in promoting healthy staff relations at your school.
    The positive changes that will result from your efforts in this important area will not only improve staff morale and communication, but will also serve as a critical bullet on your resume should you ever decide to pursue a principalship.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  29. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I taught for 8 years and am completing my 5th year as assistant principal.
     
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  30. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    I try to keep in touch with admin as much as I can. I feel like we're all on the same team, so we should try to communicate together. But to be honest, my VP is really busy most of the week, so I don't talk to her as much as I'd like to.
     

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