Is it possible to be friends with principal???

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teachingtoo, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    I'm a newbie teacher who recently joined a school during the second term (we're currently summer break though) . So far I like it, the environment, students, staff members etc. My principal is a pretty cool person. She's also so fashionable and poised. I'm into fashion and so I kinda look up to her when it comes to that. She's nice to me too, always smiles whenever she sees me in the hallway and says hello. But I don't know why, she makes me super nervous and intimidates me so much! I doubt it if she even knows she does... I'm really good at hiding my nervousness around people. Somtiems to the extent where I may come across as rude, nonchalant, or overconfident. Whenever she does her walk throughs and peeps into he little window, I freak out!!! Im not sure what she thinks of me

    Anyway, I really admire her leadership, sense of style, and personality. I think she's a pretty cool person outside of school. I don't know, is it weird that I want to be friends with her even though I know she's probably 15 years older than I am. I have a thing of befriending older people, simply because I like the widosm and intellectualism they bring in a friendship. They give great advices, and have a unique sense of humor. I have a few friends that are actually in their early 40s. And we get along well. I make sure thar there is always that line of respect drawn.
    So is it weird to want to be befriend my principal?How do I stop being nervous around her, and how can I make small talks with her?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  3. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    No
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    It depends.

    I wouldn’t go into the job with the intention to befriend the principal. That makes you look like a suck up, and that won’t win you points with anyone.

    However, sometimes people just click over time and friendships form. Even in those situations, you have to keep a professional relationship at school.
     
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  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I would aim for friendly, not friends.
     
  6. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Thank you for input.. I think I'll be friendly with them but not try to be friends
     
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  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    In general, I agree with the "friendly, not friends" advice.

    However, sometimes friendships just develop over looooong periods of time. In my district, one of the principals has been there more than 20 years, as have some teachers. At least one teacher even worked with the principal in another district back when they were both teachers. They're clearly good friends and not in an unprofessional way. It's kind of hard to draw a line in the sand when a friendship can develop in very organic and genuine ways over time.

    In the case of the OP though, I'd recommend going with the "friend, not friends" advice. A true friendship just happens. You shouldn't have to force it or strategize on how to make it occur.
     
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  8. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    You're right, I'd much rather have a true friendship that'll take time to happen than one that's quick and forced. Thank you for your advice. I'll stick to being just friendly
     
  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    I had a friend who was a principal, but it was after I was no longer working for her. She was great to work for and an awesome person, but there is a thin line between how close you should be w/ a P when you work for them, I think. Friendly is a good way to go! :)
     
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  10. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Thanks for the input:)
     
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  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Please don't do this. Any time this has happened at a school where I've worked, it's led to resentment from other faculty.

    I do not add supervisors on social media for this reason.
     
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  12. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I'm going to add that it's not a good idea to become social media friends with one's boss. I had a principal once announce in a faculty meeting that she would not accept any FaceBook or similar friend requests from anyone employed by her. It wasn't personal against them, but it also wasn't at all professional.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    This happened a few years ago. The principal wasn't liked by anyone except one teacher who became best friends with her (they would sit in her office and chat while other people watched her students). She got away with a lot and the other teachers were furious. It was ridiculous. Since they were both bonkers to begin with it made a lot of sense :dizzy: The principal left under mysterious circumstances so her best buddy quit because she was so appalled that her wonderful friend was gone. We all said, "Bye Felicia"!! :toofunny:
     
  14. Pi-R-Squared

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    I would advise against trying to become your P’s “friend.” You can be friendly but remember you’re at work and the P is the boss.... actually, the P’s administrative assistant is also your “boss” so tread carefully on trying to establish friendships. Can friendships happen over time? Perhaps.... Just don’t go to work and think it’s cutting up and goofing off with ones who have the power in the building.
     
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  15. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    *gulps* I wouldn't ever want to be in such a situation with the faculty. Thank you for the advice. I'll refrain from adding them on social media as well
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  16. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Indeed it doesn't sound professional. I've heard about a few that do not request but will accept friend requests from employees. Nevertheless, I'll stay on the safe side and avoid adding any of the admin from my school. Thank you for your input
     
  17. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    You're right. I didn't really pay so much attention to the fact that they are my "boss". Maybe because I thought of her as a cool person. I appreciate the advice
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I just became Facebook friends with my P--she initiated the friend request. We've worked together for a total of 6 years. I had seen over the past couple of years that she was friends on social media with quite a few of the teachers at school, but I didn't feel right initiating that contact. I'm not concerned, partly because of our relationship in real life, but mostly because I never say anything online that I would be worried about anyone seeing.
     
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  19. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    I think 6 years is a pretty good amount of time to know your boss well enough to be friends on Facebook. My previous P was friends on FB with many of the staff in the school. My current P is different, I haven't seen except one staff member on her list of friends...a bit strange :neutral:
     
  20. ChildWhisperer

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    I guess I'm alone here.
    My last principal was amazing and everyone loved her. She was more like everyone's friend than our boss, yet she still did her job well, and everyone respected her more because of it.
    We all consider her one of our friends.
    We've all hung out with her outside of work, including getting drinks together.
     
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  21. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I've never had one that I wanted to be friends with. Honestly.
     
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  22. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Sounds amazing to have had that kind of relationship with your principal. I'm assuming that it was only a staff hangouts and not individually? I had that with my previous P as well, she'd throw us breakfast and holiday parties at the school, we'd have dinner with her outside. We weren't "friends" though...just had a really great relationship. And yes, everyone still respected her
     
  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Let me add that it will also depend on your overall school culture and location, too. My school is in a very small, rural district. Most of the people who work in our school grew up in our community or have ties to the community beside work.

    If I followed the “no administrators, co-workers, or parents on social media” guideline some people use, I’d wipe out the majority of my friends list.
     
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  24. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Wow. So probably just about a handful of new people you would meet at your school.
    I agree with you, it does depend on the school culture and location.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was born and raised in the town I work in. My parents are friends (since high school) with two of the staff members at my site and one of the teachers at my school was my own teacher. I’ve become friends with a few staff members, but it has happened organically. Relationships form naturally when you work with people day after day for years on end.
     
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  26. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I’m the odd person out in districts where I’ve worked. I have a Facebook, but I won’t be anyone’s Facebook friend until we no longer work together. I wouldn’t even “friend” one of my closest friends at work until I resigned and moved on to a new district. And I even had a few months buffer in there. I often hear colleagues talk about what they’ve seen from one another on Facebook, and I do often feel out of the loop. But I’m okay with it because I value keeping my work life and personal life separate, unless the two happen to mix in a natural way.
     
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  27. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I have accepted friend requests from former Ps, but would never even think of it while they were my boss. It's just a level of familiarity between power levels I didn't feel comfortable with. I only need to stick my foot in my mouth once or have some random comment come back to haunt me.
     
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  28. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Yes, but sometimes they want to be more than friends! My first principal would ask me what I was doing on the weekend. "I have a yacht. Ever been on a yacht?" Hint. Hint. Yes, my 10-year-old daughter loves sailing. That changed things.
     
  29. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Interesting. I agree with you, I became friends with staff members who I never even thought we'd get along. But working with them day after day it just happened naturally. Thanks for the input
     
  30. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Haha, you're right about that. The points made in this thread made me realize I didn't think it through. I just wanted to rush into a risky friendship simply because P seems pretty cool. Maybe it'll happen over time or even after we no longer work together
     
  31. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Really?! :frowning: your principal probably liked your personality. I haven't seen a P intitiate any friendship with the staff but I've seen them become very close to a staff member because of their personality
     
  32. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Milsey has shared a lot of interesting experiences here over the years.
     
  33. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    Awesome! Love reading/listening to interesting stories and experiences
     
  34. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    ^^You’re not reading between the lines at all from @Ima Teacher
     
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  35. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    You're right, It does depend on the culture and location. Here in the middle east its very normal to be friends with your P and admin on social media. And usually also have what's app groups with the admin, including the P. Had that with the previous principal. But the current one was raised in the UK and so she has a completely different mindset than what we're used to seeing. That's why I thought I'd come on here and get some answers... I'm not sure how principals overseas take to staff members befriending them
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  36. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    *facepalm* I didn't think I'd be reading such interesting stories on this kind of platform :rofl:
     
  37. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    The P at my first school was like this. Like a pp mentioned, based on the location if you didn't hang out with coworkers, you weren't going to have many/any friends. This was a ski resort town and teachers were basically the only year round residents aside from the billionaires who owned the resorts. It was an interesting place. I remember laughing at advice not to drink with coworkers. Who else was I going to drink with?? ;)P and AP often came out with us on weekends and the overall culture was also just much more relaxed. The idea of "professionalism" just wasn't something people really concerned themselves with.

    However, this led to issues as well. Sometimes "drama" from the weekends would seep into the school week. P had trouble making tough decisions as a leader due to her status of being friends with the staff. I left after 2 years and that spring P announced she was going back to teaching so she could "spend more time with family." Now that I've been in the profession for longer I realized that's HR speak for being fired, and thinking back on it there was an HR person present in the meeting where P made this proclamation.

    Now that I live in the city I enjoy keeping my social life separate from school. I like that when I go out with friends, it's truly a break and doesn't end up being a vent session about school stuff/just talking about school stuff. I do have one teammate who I consider a very close friend and we chat all of the time at school, eat lunch together when we can, etc. but we have very different lives outside of school as she has young children to take care of. I don't post on social media so I don't need to worry about that.

    In my current school, a former teammate was BFFs with our former P. Things went very well for her until that P was fired. I think she went in thinking she could win over the new P and have a similar relationship, but new P wasn't having it. After being allowed to basically run the school under former P, new P fired her after two super challenging years. Most staff members weren't sympathetic due to resentments from previous years. Current P is not as blatant about it but she does have staff members she's clearly closer to and it does sometimes make things awkward. P and I have some common interests and I will chat about those with her at school but I would never dream of asking her to hang out outside of school or anything like that.
     
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  38. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    And don't forget her award winning personality!
     
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    It was such an absurd thread I loved it. I wish I still knew where it was.
     
  40. TeacherNY

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  41. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Now that's a walk down memory lane!
     

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