Insensitive Principal

Discussion in 'General Education' started by aprilshowers, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    I was non-renewed after 3 years of teaching at a urban charter school. It was not a performance-related termination (I have never had a negative review/observation) -- we were having an ongoing disagreement because I work 1.2 FTE (120% time without being paid extra) and I am exhausted and want to work just full-time. My principal decided to let me know this while I was ON MY WAY TO THE BATHROOM after I had finished chaperoning the dance (a voluntary job!) late one night. He had sent me an email earlier asking if I had time to chat and when I told him I was busy with the dance after school he said he would "catch up with me later." He could have met with me instead of having me chaperone!

    Although I was not happy with my schedule, I am very upset to be let go...and in such an insensitive way! Recently, he came in and said, "there is someone interviewing for your job and wants to shadow you for a day. That won't be uncomfortable, will it?" I almost started crying. He treats me like this and then expects me to play host to a candidate?! That is not normal, is it? He has also asked me if I can write things down to help transition the new person in..."you know," he says, "those things you do that keep the program so effective." He also took this person into my room after school and let her go through boxes and leave them a mess everywhere. I had packed up my personal items and I returned the next day to find them strewn all over my office.

    This week (we are still in school), he took my replacement around and introduced her to my kids during lunch. I was still in my room teaching! I am very upset and want to let him know that he is being insensitive and inappropriate. But I don't want it to seem hysterical so he can just dismiss me as a crazy person. Can you help me craft a cutting message making him aware of how insensitive and hurtful he is being?
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You're in a charter school, and you have a principal who would do things like this. Unfortunately, you have little-to-no rights of any sort, and any type of response would probably just make things worse for you. Best to just take all your personal items home immediately and work to the rule.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    And to put it even more bluntly... it sounds like your principal is trying to hurt you. Nobody on earth would be dense enough to do these things without realizing the effect they'd have on you. Sending him a response letting him know how he's hurting you would probably just make things worse.
     
  5. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    I want to speak up now because school is over in a few more days. He has fired SO MANY people over the years and he has never done any of this nonsense to them. Why do I get less consideration when I have been working so hard, unlike other teachers who have been nonrenewed and immediately turned their classes into nap time or movie time for the remainder of the school year?

    My principal as known as the one person in the room who never knows what is going on. He is totally dense. I feel like, because I haven't caused a huge scene, told anyone, gotten parents to freak out to him, etc. that he thinks I don't care or it is okay. We agreed we would tell people I was resigning but now I am rethinking that due to his behavior.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    What a jerk. I completely understand that you just want to tell him to go to h*** and let him know how awful he's been. The good news is you're done with him. That said, I wouldn't recommend doing something that could give this crazy man any further reason to give a bad (worse?) reference. Have you talked with him about getting a letter of rec in your favor so you can find another, hopefully better position? I'd recommend just laying low and getting through the next few days, although, definitely easier said than done. In all reality I'm sure I'd be one of the teachers showing movies after this news, if I didn't walk out then and there.
     
  7. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    He wrote me a great letter of rec and has already given me several positive references...it wasn't a performance concern, so I'm not worried about that.
     
  8. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Your principal is worse than insensitive. He's cruel. I sure wouldn't spend any time putting together a list of "those things you do that keep the program so effective."

    I agree that it's not a good idea to address his behavior with him. He won't see himself in your words.
     
  9. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I take that back. I'd make a list with one bullet point: My program is so effective because I work my tail off.
     
  10. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    or you could make a list of all the extra duties you do that is unpaid with the bullet:

    the program is so effective because I spend X amount of time doing things outside of class.

    ***note I would tell the truth. that he did not renew you, not that you resigned because the next person should be warned what might happen to them if they refuse to being bullied into working unpaid overtime***
     
  11. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    What a terrible way to treat you! That principal seems so insensitive that you probably won't get anywhere telling him anything. At this point, you should probably just get through the end of the year and move on. And if you don't have a job yet, I wouldn't do anything to make it less likely that you get a good word from him as a reference.
     
  12. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    He has fired SO MANY people over the years and he has never done any of this nonsense to them. Why do I get less consideration when I have been working so hard,?

    And about that part--it sounds like he is not the kind of person to appreciate the fact that you have been working so hard. He was happy to have you work 120% for no extra pay, and he will just keep on taking advantage of you if possible. I would not do anything more than the minimum, if I were you, but I would also not confront him or write him a letter or any of that either because you still need him as a reference.

    It is obviously a problem with a charter school and not having a union contract, that you can be taken advantage of like that. In our school, we have some teachers who like doing 120% so they can earn more money, and others who feel like it's too much, or OK just for a year---but at least they all get paid 120% if they work 120%.
     
  13. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    personally i can't just "do the bare minimum" even if the principal is a jerk, the kids would be the ones hurt not him.

    i recommend doing your best, but staying honest and true. NOT lying for the principal or pretending that you are okay with being replaced.

    he should be more respectful. i wouldn't do things out of spite but neither would I allow him to let her go through personal boxes. you need to take that stuff home as soon as possible and only used school bought items for the rest of the year.
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Is this sort of abuse normal in charter schools? I am very unfamiliar with charters, so I'm assuming that teachers don't earn tenure?

    Regardless, this entire situation is completely unacceptable. Heck, we've got such a strong teachers' union that I'd probably be demoted if I acted in the same manner as the OP's principal.
     
  15. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Is there any person above his position? If so, I would go to that person/to them and tell them how you've been treated and exactly what you were doing to make your position so wonderful.

    So sorry to hear you're going through this- I'd be in tears myself :(
     
  16. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    A person acting in this manner SHOULD be demoted based on their behavior.
     
  17. underthesun

    underthesun Rookie

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    Wow, I'm so sorry that this is happening to you!

    Though I haven't had much experience with principals myself yet, I do have to agree with some of the other; writing a cutting letter is probably not in your best interest. Or, at least, SENDING it to him is not. If writing one will make you feel better, then you should go all out writing it, but then just make sure you get rid of it afterwards.

    If you can have the conversation without getting upset (just in case he IS trying to hurt you and WANTS to see you that way), I don't see the harm in just informing him that you find his recent behavior extremely insensitive and would appreciate him acting in a more professional manner.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Charter schools generally give no protection to teachers. That's why a lot of them just stock themselves with TFAers. That way, they can burn them out in two years and get a fresh stock.
     
  19. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I have no words. That's terrible. I hope you find another position soon - one where you are treated respectfully and one where you won't be expected to do extra work for free.
     
  20. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Your P sounds like he is a very insensitive person. Insensitive people don't think about a person's feelings. I doubt he was trying to hurt you, he was just doing what had to get done without thinking about your feelings. Please, don't take what this man has done personally. I am sure if you knew all the people who had been fired and what happened to them, they would also have some stories of how insensitive this P was to them. I am so sorry that this P treated you like this. I hope you find a school with a caring P such as I have right now.
     
  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    :agreed:
     
  22. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    There is no need to write your P a letter or address him. For what? You can't get your job back, you probably don't want to work for him anymore, he seems to have little respect for you or the excellent job you have done. So what will this letter accomplish?

    There are a lot of sucky people in this world and many of them are in management positions. Some suck because they treat people poorly and others just suck at their job (which makes it hard for their employees). Hopefully, you never have to deal with someone like this again, but you may have to learn how not to take things so personally especially from your superiors.

    Good luck!
     
  23. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Also, OP, if you knew you were being replaced (your P brought the new person around, let the person meet your kids, go through your stuff); then were you actually surprised when he told you he wasn't going to renew you? Or, is it because he told you on the way to the bathroom?
     
  24. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    I might be wrong here but I feel like heck yes, write a letter. You mentioned that your principal is known as being dense. Well, maybe he needs to be told that what he did by ignoring your concerns of burning out by being overworked by not getting paid for (valued for) your hard work means he will continue year after year to rehire, retrain, and hope for the best EVERY YEAR. That's a lot of extra work for him and it hurts the students. If your letter can sound factual, without name calling (I couldn't do it!) then I would say send it. Before you send it, read it back and ask if I got this letter would I still tell their next principal to hire them?
    Good luck. And yes - unions would protect you in this sort of situation. And some charters are union.
     
  25. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    ps - maybe this HAS happened a lot in past firings, but no one asked the firees and they said nothing and moved on.
     
  26. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    I just want to clarify my previous post: when I said I wouldn't do more than the minimum, I meant I would certainly teach and finish out the school year professionally, but I would not take on any other duties such as showing a replacement around! If asked to share what you did so effectively, I would just say something simple such as "It was a lot of hard work." I agree with other posters to just get all of your things out of there quickly, so that your principal can't have your replacement rifling through any more.

    I would also probably be honest about why you are leaving, without going into all kinds of complaining. Just tell everyone that you were unwilling to work 120% without getting paid 120, and you and the principal couldn't come to an agreement on that.
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oh, no--don't get me wrong, Missy. I just meant that no one in my district would be careless enough to behave in that manner. They'd be in the assistant superintendent's office the same day!
     
  28. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This just makes me want to do horrible things to this person's car, but I never would. I WOULD take the remainder of my sick / personal days leave him hanging.
     
  29. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    My advice would be to start looking for a new job- not at a charter school and forget about him.
     
  30. EmptyClassroom

    EmptyClassroom Rookie

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    LOL! For that level of respect and professionalism, you might as well work in public ed. The kids would benefit from your dedication, and admin wouldn't be able to pull a stunt like that based on positive obs! Don't let a power trip (because that what the principal is pulling) stop you from your calling!
     
  31. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Do what you have to do and not spend an extra minute than you have to. If that is doing the bare minimum then so be it. At this point you don't owe anyone anything. Work your hours then leave. I don't think you owe the students anything "extra" other than presenting whatever material you have left and giving whatever grades you have to give. They won't suffer for another week or however long you have until school is over for the year. Don't let people make you feel guilty about it either.
     
  32. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I would have a really hard time not calling in sick/personal/whatever every day. As someone mentioned above, don't let them use the kids to make you feel guilty. Do the job you were hired to do, and no more, finish your contract, and thank your lucky stars that you aren't working for that jacka$$ any more.
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I can just picture your jerky principal as the boss from the movie Office Space saying things to you with his stupid coffee cup in his hand. I really want to slap that guy! I'm sure you will be glad to be rid of him. I wish you luck in finding a better job with more intelligent administration.
     
  34. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:

    Do you have something else lined up? I'd be sure to take documentation of how effective your program was. The comment he made about you making a list of how you made your program so effective & then fires you just blows my mind.
     
  35. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Not only have I never heard of anything like that in teaching, I've never heard of it in any job ever. Anyone who's ever managed people knows that that kind of cruelty is just inviting a meltdown... or worse.
     
  36. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    No! I've had wonderful principals in charter schools (I currently work for one) and then I've had horrible principals. The one really horrible principal I had got shuffled around to different schools within the management company, I think she's gone.

    I left one school because the principal retired and the person that they brought in sounds like the OP's principal. There was no way I was going to work for him. He got demoted a year or so later & came to a sister school on a job interview for a teaching position. I got a text from my P asking about him. I gave an honest answer, he didn't get the job.

    As for your other question, no we don't have tenure. Once again, I can only speak for the schools I've worked at, generally, you are brought back if you have good observations. Lay offs in public schools used to be common around here and they would lay off by seniority, depending on the year up to 8 years on the job have been laid off, usually most are called back. Job security is not something I worry about though. The school I'm currently at is big on character traits and a positive culture and work environment.
     

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