How's your relationship w/admin?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Just curious: how well do you get along with your admin? Are they approachable? Do you avoid them at all costs? Do you communicate with them more via email rather than in person?

    I'm ending year three in my AP position and I feel like I've built some really strong relationships with my team (which consists of 32 teachers), but there are always 1 or 2 people who never seem to warm up to you (for whatever reason).
     
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  3. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Avoid at all costs. Completely unapproachable. Just happy I can stick to my niche in the school.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Excellent relationship. I am treated as a valued employee and the administration respects our input. I wonder if it's because I am in a small private religious school?
     
  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Excellent, and I hold her in the highest regards.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Excellent relationship but I take care not to be too present. I don't want to bother her because she's very busy. If it's not urgent, I send an email. I will say some teachers are not happy with her, but I think you will never get everyone to like you all the time.
     
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  7. TXforever

    TXforever Companion

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    I avoid the super at all costs. Not very approachable. Sometimes he acts like he loves you and other times like he hates you, so I lay low. My P is so-so. Sometimes I go all week without even carrying on a conversation with her, and we're a small school. She kind of has her favorites, and I'm not one of them, lol. If you're not a favorite, you receive zero praise for your accomplishments. I'm talking zero. My team's scores were the highest in the elementary, and we didn't so much as get a good job. :( I'm an outsider looking in, so I don't know all the details, but she lets some people get away with a lot. We've been told four times this year to not wear jeans, and some teachers keep doing it. Kids are left unattended by some, etc.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Ain't it the truth!
     
  9. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Great principal and vice principal. This has changed every 4 years or so, principal moves on and VP takes over. They have all been very approachable and helpful to the teachers. Of course, not all teachers at my site have positive things to say about them.
     
  10. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I get along really well with my P. She is super supportive and willing to give me as many opportunities for leadership experience as possible so I can move into an admin role.
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We don't agree on everything, but they're both approachable. It's a small school, so avoidance is hard.
     
  12. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Our principal is new and has struggled. The way our building is structured, I don't see or talk to him much. I have more contact with the vice-principal who is my grade level administrator and I adore her. She's present, understanding, and super supportive. If we misstep, she might talk to us privately, but she always, always has our back in front of students.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I respect both our P and AP and would say I have a decent professional relationship with both. The AP is significantly more approachable and I'm much more comfortable with her. I would say that most, if not all of my fellow teachers feel the same way. The cynic in me wonders if my admin team has purposely set it up this way so that the AP can deal with the teachers while the P is free to get things done. I honestly don't go to my admin for much. Our psych requested that they come to our weekly sped team meetings so they know what's going on in our department. Sometimes just one of them will come, and the atmosphere is noticeably more relaxed/comfortable when it's just the AP. The P is much more serious and often hard to read. She's my evaluator and my evaluations are good; if I had the AP instead I feel that I would have no idea how my P feels about me because she's so difficult to read. A lot of people don't like that's she's not "warm fuzzy" but personally that doesn't bother me. I can mostly stay under the radar and get my job done and I'm happy with that setup. Our AP also runs our RtI team and I'm on that, and I'm on leadership team which meets once a month. If it weren't for these meetings, I could honestly probably go weeks without seeing and/or talking to either of them. I think both of them would say I'm a good employee but we are certainly not "friends." One of my teammates is literally drinking buddies with both the P and AP and that bothers me a lot. I don't trust this teammate very much because of that; I always worry what she's telling them.
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    What sparked this thread is a conversation I had with one of my instructional aides (who is also a friend from high school and a parent at my site). She said, "I wonder if he (referring to my principal) minds that he's bad cop and you're good cop?"

    I didn't verbally respond--I just smiled.

    It did get me thinking, though: is that really how people view us?
     
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  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I've worked with several P's, but one in particular I remember as being the most supportive. He would look for and mention areas in which we excelled as teachers, and I've noticed that over the years unconsciously those became the areas I pushed even harder to excel in. He was always supportive and instructing as needed. I also remember my third year of teaching, I had a P who probably was the least supportive. After viewing a lesson, he sat in the front of the room and told me and the entire class what a terrible job I did teaching that lesson. But YoungTeacherGuy, to be honest, in reading your posts, I've often thought any teacher who has you as an administrator is very, very fortunate. You are concerned for the students and your team of teachers and that's what counts.
     
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  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I've known my P and AP since they were a guidance counselor and fellow ELA teacher, respectively. They are an integral part of my teaching team and provide amazing support as well as camaraderie. P is an expert at navigating school policy, and AP is the curriculum maven. I know I rely upon them for help and honest feedback, and I trust them as much as I like them.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My current principal is exceptional; he is very approachable and treats his staff with respect. He expresses his appreciation of all that we do. He is very highly regarded in the school board for his leadership style. Our VP is a little reserved, and I'm not quite as comfortable with her. She's on maternity leave right now and her replacement is stellar.This is her first admin position and she came to us straight from a grade 8 classroom; if we were teaching partners, I know that we would be good friends.

    I'm very comfortable with both of them, but tend not to bug them with the little stuff. They know, then, that if I do need their ear, it's something that's really important to me.
     
  18. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  19. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    We have new administration, and let's just say that it has been a very tough year for everyone....
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Awesome. He knows he can count on me and I've been a bit of a sounding board for him at times. I can talk to him about concerns, needs, etc. he knows who I am as an educator and reviews my highly in observations and end of year evals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  21. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    This is how my relationships are. I like to keep them in the loop, but try to only approach them about something when it is really important to me. I have been able to be quite honest about my desire to leave our division to work in one closer to home, and everyone has been very supportive (including the superintendent).
     
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  22. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    With the exception of the early years when I taught in the Catholic schools, I've never had an administrator that truly fulfilled the role they're supposed to - to support and assist the teachers.
    Some of the common traits we've experienced:
    1. The use of observations as a weapon (not as a tool to improve instruction).
    2. They won't write letters of recommendation - some have even gone so far as to sabotage some teachers' opportunities with other school districts, so they won't have to replace staff.
    3. Almost a complete absence of discipline enforcement so they can keep their statistics low and give the appearance of a school under control.
    4. Grade-changing - to give the appearance of higher academic achievement.

    By and large, as jadorelafrance said, "Avoid at all costs. Completely unapproachable."
     
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  23. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    And most of the upper administration is new. Not young necessarily, but new to their administrative roles or new to our school.

    I wil say that the admin for my department and grade level are wonderful, which are who evaluate me and who I'm in contact with the most, so it's ok, but they don't make the school-wide decisions, which is too bad.
     
  24. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I can't imagine having a better relationship with my admin. And it's not just between me and her, but she's amazing with everyone.
     
  25. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I love my P -- he was an AP last year, my first year in the district, and he has done my evaluations both years and has always been incredibly supportive. However, I still clam up around him a bit because I am so nervous about the whole tenure decision process! I get anxious thinking anything I do or say wrong could end up being used against me, although he has never given off that vide himself, it's just the way the system is set up that makes me paranoid. I still don't know what my job prospect will look like for next year, although I didn't get a pink slip, but we have a precarious situation with numbers and sections, and yet I am too afraid to ask directly yet. I hope my P knows that I am just awkward and that I really do appreciate him as our leader. I think I will write him a thank-you note after the dust settles!
     
  26. artbrarian

    artbrarian Rookie

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    My admins are by and large hot and cold. it doesn't help that after xmas we ended up with 3(normally 2) and none of them are on the same page. My relationship is keep my head down and stay off radar.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I get along well with admin. I feel valued and supported. They have been very generous with funding for my program.

    At my previous school, I avoided admin whenever possible. I preferred to submarine it, staying under the radar and not making waves. Although I didn't feel targeted or disliked by most of my previous administrators, I certainly didn't feel like I was part of the special group. It was just easier to keep my distance.
     
  28. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    To be honest up until this mornings conversation with her I really felt like I was just here and she could care less about me. I am not going into details but I have come to realize she appreciates me, thinks I am good teacher and is willing to go to bat for me if the need arises. Are we friends? No we are coworkers. I trust her in a professional manner. I feel comfortable talking to her about educational stuff. We do have somethings in common like our own children so sometimes that does come up but we don't socialize outside of school. I feel like she values my judgement and I feel very supported about 95% of the time. I will say this though her first 2 years on this campus was rough. The first year I felt like she micromanaged everything and everyone! Then the next year I felt like she wasn't helping me enough in a situation. I have come to understand that her hands were tied just like mine. We survived and I am a way better teacher because of it. This year and last year I love love love my job.
     
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  29. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2016

     
  30. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2016

    I had a good relationship with the first P, the one from last year. I felt that her observations and notes were to help me improve and were never punitive in nature.

    This year has been the complete opposite. The P that took over in August is inaccessible, sometimes offensively rude and seems to be so far out of her depth that the entire school community has suffered. When she does do observations she uses a very confrontational, negative tone that has put everyone in the building on the defensive (which she then complains about). She is inconsistent and won't take responsibility for her mistakes or missteps.

    This year has been so hard. We have five more weeks to go and I just hope and pray that I can make it.
     
  31. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    Apr 29, 2016

    Our current P does not have the respect of our faculty nor our students. He is very much a check in the box type of administrator. His goal is to not be on anyone else’s radar, so to stay off of his do not make waves. He does not welcome advice and is not very knowledgeable about the profession. His response to staff “non-compliance” is to verbally threaten with poor evaluations or professional development plans. He is a big talker to the higher ups, but his visions are based in unrealistic notions and lack personal humility.

    All-in-all not very approachable
     
  32. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Great! They all seem to like me for some reason.
    I've had "outside" people come to observe me and they've all told me that admin speaks highly of me and how much they like me!
    They're very approachable; if it's a simple question, I can go up and ask them anything. If it's more important things, I usually email so there's a paper trail.
     
  33. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I really love this district. I already wrote about my awesome P, but it's not just her.
    We are a small district but because we're alt. ed, we report to the superintendent of the County Office of ed, not just one school district's sup. The way it goes is no AP (small school), P, then the director and then the superintendent. Even though I have only been for 3 years, both the director and the sup. knows me by name (not just me, but everyone). The Sup remembers where I teach and what subjects. The director remembers and asks about the facts that every 2 years I visit my home country in Europe.
    Now compare this to a Sup in San Diego who is not liked at all, and all of us were just little ants to him.
    This was a huge difference for me.
    Our previous superintendent here (of 30 years) was said to have known and remembered something personal about every single employee and would make small talk. For example she would remember if your kids were in waterpolo, or are in college, or abroad studying, or if you're into fishing or martial arts or whatever.
    These people really do know how to foster relationships.
     
  34. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I HAVE had admin that was a problem. One particular principal played favorites and made rude comments about those he didn't like. Rude comments in front of my entire department. He tried to force my mentor teacher to quit when her elder granddaughter was in treatment at St. Jude and she was caring for the baby sister. The superintendent put his foot down and allowed my mentor to work remotely (which we can do without problem).

    A lot of teachers were upset when he was let go. I was not one of them.
     
  35. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    wow, I have avoided responding but your reply struck a nerve as it is exactly what I see. I honestly believe that my P would not care what the teachers did/did not do in the classroom as long as there were no complaints from anyone or disciplinary issues. Education (sadly enough)is not a priority at all for this P. I think getting to retirement "hassle free" is the utmost priority.The one prior was excellent so I have seen both ends of the spectrum.

    I guess the silver lining is the P is so "hands off" that my conversations are limited to one brief exchange of "good mornings" before the first bell. We have complete freedom to run the classroom as we see fit (providing nothing we do "makes waves" as you say).
     
  36. Sassy98

    Sassy98 Rookie

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    May 1, 2016

    Don't forget Mother's Day is May 8th! Its early this year so don't forget MOM!!! All moms, grandma's and all the special women in your life will appreciate your thoughtfulness on this special day which celebrates WOMEN.
     
  37. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Nov 17, 2017

    yea, I know, the thread is old. However, questions like this come up all the time.
    I will try to make my answer not TOO emotional. Although it's a little hard because 2 weeks ago I said Good-bye to schools for ever. Or let's say, good-bye to Special Education in schools.

    so, in 10 years, I've been a a substitute aide for a number of years, a substitute teacher, and finally, for the last 2+ years I've had, what I considered a “dream” positional after all the substituting, an Everyday Instructional aide position.

    What can I say? I think you are lucky if your IA think you are a good cop or bad cop. Cop – has a pretty light meaning, isn't it? it's almost joking. In all of my years in school, I've come to regard myself as a Slave. When I was an IA I was a Slave and administration and some teachers were my owners. It mostly felt like that when I was subbing as an IA. All of last year I've been an IA with an Autistic boy in a 5th grade class where the classroom teacher was sooo amazing, I didn't feel like a Slave in her classroom. It did, however, feel like this when we went to Ausitic support room.

    This year I've worked in Middle school for 2 months. I didn't have a Teacher that I was under, well, except for Case Manager (I stayed with the same Autistic Support teacher) These 2 months DEFINITELY felt like a Slave/Owner's relationships.

    2 weeks ago, I was summoned to the AP office and told that they don't feel I'm a good match for the boy I work with, so they are switching me. Any questions? Hey, being a slave for that long taught me not to ask any questions. “No” I said and left. I really wanted to quit at the end of last year, but I stayed FOR THAT BOY, so I can help him one more year, especially in this hard transitional 6th grade. So, after the initial shock of this news, (and it did take me the whole school day to recover really), I went back to the AP 's office at the end of the day, explained that without any explanations I was taken away an autistic boy which was the ONLY reason why I stayed in schools this year (the AP was surprised , no explanations? no, I'm used to it. As Slaves we don't deserve any)
    And then I asked him what is the fastest way to get out of your school district? He wasn't sure, sent me to a HR. Thanks goodness, I was able to get myself together emotionally and finish the whole process quickly the same day.

    Now, a little bit of explanation. I do not think administrations treat EVERYBODY like a slave. Oh no. And I know it's my image that sits in my head. And it's because I'm WAY too non-standard for the school environment which took me years of working in schools to realize. Even if you are teacher, and very non-standard, it's a very challenging position. An Instructional Assistant, forget it, if you think in a non-standard way, better find yourself something else, or else, you'll find yourself slaving away year after year. :)
     
  38. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Our principal is a neurotic mess who has dragged the school down into the fiery pits of hell. He cannot implement a consistent discipline plan to save his life, so we have violent children roaming the halls, terrorizing staff and students all day long. He manipulates troubled students and pits them against teachers he does not like. He will betray everyone who comes in contact with. Staff who attempt to leave the school can only count on slander and defamation from him—even those who worked tireless to support and promote him. Someone quits about every other week. He just has this crazy, pathological need to raise himself up and fish for sympathy by tearing his teachers down. Parents can't stand him—generally regarding him as "crazy." You have to take a few classes in abnormal psychology to keep up with this guy.

    I would say that I keep my working relationship professional, and never, ever trust the SOB or assume he won't do something to hurt me when given the chance.

    You see a lot of crazies lingering around education, losers with an insatiable need to hurt people devoted to kids, don't you?
     
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  39. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I get along with all of them (we have six) and have little respect for any of them. Some are more approachable than others. I've learned who to go to for specific needs, even if it doesn't fall under their assigned duties.
     
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  40. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Nov 18, 2017

    This year I got a new supervisor AND a new principal. The ones last year were OK, but these two are awesome! My principal for the past few years just kind of laid low and didn't do much---he was ready to retire for sure, and was just going through the motions. For example, he rarely answered emails, and if he did, he gave only brief, cryptic answers. He was probably more effective in his earlier years, but he never gave me any problems so I can't complain.

    Fortunately our principal this year is much more forward thinking, and looking to make improvements based on staff input. Similarly, my supervisor from last year was OK, but she tried too hard to please parents, and had trouble putting her foot down against some of the unreasonable requests. There was one situation where she took a parent's side over mine that left a bad taste in my mouth. This year my supervisor doesn't take crap from parents, which is awesome because she fully supports the teachers.
     
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  41. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Nov 18, 2017

    My school is tiny, but has a P and 2 APs. Both APs are new this year. They're all pretty cool. I co-run a club with my P, but otherwise we don't really talk. I'm not sure why. I find her very competent and nice enough. I guess I got really close to my P at my last school, so when I left it was really hard and I don't want to like anyone anymore in case I have to leave again. :tearsofjoy:
     

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