Is this a reasonable request from a princpal?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Preschool0929, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    I posted a few days ago that I was considering an admin position at a school 1 hour away. Well, I interviewed and was offered the position today. I asked the principal what my official hours are, since I need to figure out childcare for my little one, and she immediately replied "well you're salaried, so you work as much as you need to. I work over 60 hours". I explained that I needed to be able to find a daycare/babysitter and would need to tell him the hours that my son would be there, and after going back and forth for a few minutes, she finally said "well technically you work 7:30-4, but be prepared to work much more. If a teacher needs you to stay until 6:00, then you need to stay. If a teacher wants you to stay and do parent-teacher conferences with them, then you'll have to. If a teacher wants you to be here at 5:30am and help prepare their classroom for the day, then you need to be here."

    Ugh. My current school has its issues, but my principal is super "family friendly". She always asks about my baby, took over my classroom when I couldn't find a sub and he had a fever, and comes into my room to tell me to go home if I'm staying too late. I'm worried this is a bad sign from a new school. While I totally understand working as much as needed (I'm notorious for being the first at school and the last to leave), I also have a child now and really don't look forward to working 10 hour days and never seeing him.

    Is it reasonable for a principal to assume you will always stay after work hours? Is this just something that comes with a higher up position?
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Unfortunately, I do think it's something that comes with being in administration. My district has similar policies regarding working hours for admin. If I have a parent coming for a conference at 5, and I think I might need an admin there, somebody is required to stay. Of course, situations like that must be scheduled in advance, so you would know if you needed the babysitter to stay late that day.
     
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  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Our admin is consistently at school 4 hours after the school day officially ends.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Reasonable, no. Common, yes.

    I don't know... two hour commute, plus being required to work all those extra hours sounds like a lot of time away from family.
     
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  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    All the administrators I've ever worked with have regularly worked very long hours. Some of those hours have been on official administrative duty, like being around for basketball games and recitals, and other hours have been for office stuff and paperwork. It's not unusual for me to receive emails from administrators timestamped at 7 or 9 or 11 at night.

    Honestly, given that plus your lengthy commute, this may not be the best option for you at this time.

    The long hours are a big part of why I am not interested in an admin position, at least not anytime soon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Both my P and AP seem to work close to contract hours, but this does not sit well with the teachers at all. My P will also send out emails before break stating that she and AP will not be taking work home, and we shouldn't either. I got sick during a conference night once and my P practically shoved me out the door. Personally, I don't mind them not staying late much because I work contract hours most of the time, but I know other teachers get really upset about it. In my first school my P probably spent at least 10-12 hours per day at school and went to every single sporting event, performance, community night, etc. She actually went back to teaching because she said the long hours weren't right for her family. Regardless of how common it is, the P at this school has been honest with you about what the hours are going to be like. I wouldn't expect it to be different once you start the job. Like Ceasar said, with the 2 hour commute factored in it sounds like this position probably isn't a good idea for you.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I've not had many administrators who leave before I do on a regular basis. In small districts, you'd also see the elementary P, AP, and counsellors working as the administrator on duty at high school and junior high football and basketball games. It's certainly not a 42 hour a week job.
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I wish I could say in interviews for admin jobs "I don't have kids and my wife wants me out of the house more often."
    I just completed my admin training program and they told that working long hours is part of the job and basically a matter of ethics. In other words, they said if we had time commitments outside of school, maybe the best advice was to stay in the classroom.
     
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I hate to say this, but I think your old principal and new principal have a similar work ethic. As a teacher, I would love to have a principal that expects what she expects out of administrators.

    Yes, as long as she has the same expectation for herself as well.
    And yes, it is something that comes with a higher position. Not just education. When I was in the Air Force reserves, we all had to show up at 6:30 on Saturday morning. But Master Sergeants and above had to be there Friday night for a meeting. No extra pay, either.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The things that you have admired about your current P are what your staff will be looking to you for when you are the administrator. Almost every administrator I have worked with works much longer hours than I do (and, other than the caretakers, I'm usually the first one in the building every day). In many ways, administration is a public service position; you need to be available to your public (staff, students, parents) whenever it is required, not just between set hours each day. In the past month alone (we are still in school) there have been 6 events that have kept the P and VP at school until well past 7.
     
  12. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Understandable, and I agree. Although, I assumed that would be the case for P's and VP's, not for the instructional coach position that I applied for. However, I understand more responsibility comes with these positions. I think when I had my little one that it seemed like the perfect time to leave the classroom, but maybe I'll need to wait until he's older.

    Thanks for the advice everyone!
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    That is not unreasonable at all for an admin salaried position.
     
  14. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Thanks! I think I was surprised because the instructional coaches at my school leave right at 4, but I understand the need to be available whenever teachers need!
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The type of position you applied for is not an administrative position here. That position is usually a more centralized one, not tied to one school, and hours are even less structured--running after-school workshops/trainings are part of the position.

    I hope that you are able to work things out.
     
  16. renard

    renard Companion

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    It sounds like this principal is being honest with you - this position will demand similar to what she does. She's probably expecting a flexible schedule (flexible for them, apparently) upwards of 60 hours per week.

    Parenting advice:
    Unless you have live-in childcare and are okay with not seeing your child often during the week, I would turn this position down. I have made the mistake of accepting a similar job in the past - I was exhausted, work-consumed, and I would spend, at best, an hour a day with them. The worst part came when I was having to drag the oldest (4) out of bed at 5:30am to rush to work before the downtown traffic started. It wasn't worth it at all. I quit. I now work as a paraprofessional on a part-time basis (30 hours per week), make way less, and I am much happier. I also teach sporadically, when the opportunity comes up. It's well worth it. Just the lack of stress alone is worth it.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I also assumed you were an assistant principal. In this case, you need to look at the job description for your position. If the things your principal said you need to do that require staying late are part of it, then fine. If not, it seems to me that she might be seeing you as an "assistant principal" who is there to take up the slack.

    Also, is the position "certificated" or "certificated management?" I've never heard of an instructional coach that was actually categorized as management. Coaches are generally "Teachers on Special Assignment" and have no supervisory duties. If that is the case, then you have contract with defined working hours.
     
  18. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Adminstrators in my district do work long hours. They are required to have one of them covering every athletic event that takes place within the building. Consistently leaving at 4 would simply not be a possibility, and I know that they usually arrive before 7 each morning.
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    My admin does usually arrive and leave at contract time. I'd say maybe 1 in 5 days a week they stay later than that.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Instructional coaches in my district are teachers, not administrators. It's interesting to discover that this isn't the case everywhere.
     
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  21. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I'm very surprised that instructional coaching is an admin job anywhere. The whole idea about coaching is that it is non-evaluative. Teachers need to feel safe seeking help. If the coach is an administrator, then that relationship of trust will be challenging to maintain.
     
  22. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I agree! The whole concept behind instructional coach is that you are there to help a teacher grow and not to evaluate them. I have asked questions of our instructional coaches, but I would be leery about approaching someone who had administrative status.
     
  23. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Our coach is admin, and you're right, it does change things.

    Then again, when I worked at a school where the coach technically wasn't admin, she was still treated and still acted as admin.
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    That's how it was when I worked at a school with an instructional coach. She was treated like a god but had really bad suggestions. She was a total waste of our time but Heaven Forbid if we missed a meeting with her! I had a small cancer scare and had to take off. I had to stay after school one day for three hours while the coach gave her presentation to me privately. On that particular day I had to piece together a jigsaw puzzle while she watched. I never asked for her help, which threw a wrench in her plans. Even though she had removed a few pieces. It was supposed to be a lesson in inquiry-based learning and how to avoid "helping" but instead provide guiding questions. Total fail.

    When it came time to evaluate the session in our professional development module, it was obvious which evaluation was mine because of the lesson. I got reamed out, even though it was all supposed to be anonymous, for giving a low score to the activity. She got really bossy and pissy with me from that day forward.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Those "anonymous" surveys are never actually anonymous I don't think. I'm sure it's so easy to tell who wrote what. And, it seems like it would have been more logical for her or someone to just videotape her original presentation or give you something to read, instead of spending 3 hours presenting it all just for you.
     
  26. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Thanks for the thoughts everyone. When I first applied, the position description seemed to just be supporting teachers in the classroom. The instructional coaches at my school work 8-4, are rarely in the classroom, and do not attend any of our after school activities. When I got to the interview, the principal said that she basically wanted me to be seen as the principal as well. I would be mentoring new teachers and responsible for teacher evaluations. She also said that I wouldn't have an office and she literally never wanted to see me because I should be in classrooms helping the entire day. It seemed strange, especially when there is a P, VP, and about 3 other admin that have varying titles and would be "above" me.

    Anyways.....long story short, I've decided not to take the position. Even though it's exactly what I want professionally, my child is only little once, and I can't imagine spending his first year of life working 60+hours/week and missing so much time with him.
     
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  27. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I think you are totally making the right decision. You can't go back and spend time with your children -- they are only young once. Sometimes as educators, we get so busy and tied-up helping everyone else's children, that we don't have time to spend with our own. I think you are making a wise choice. :)
     
  28. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Thanks :) It's so crazy because a few years ago (even last year) I would have jumped at this opportunity and thrown myself into working as many hours as I could. Now I have a 7 month old that I would so rather play with instead.
     
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  29. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Education positions in general there should be an expectation of flexible hours. Yes there is a specified contract time, but often there are needs outside of those hours. This is for both teachers and administrators.
     
  30. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Yeah, I think you made a great choice. Especially seeing that this was for an instructional coach position. Instructional coaches are typically separated from admin for a specific reason (which has already been discussed, so I won't go over that again). Given the job description, it sounds like a recipe for disaster (I can't see this role being favored by the teachers at that school)...Had you taken it, my guess is many teachers would be leary of you (as they likely will be of anyone who takes that position), and you would have found yourself very unhappy.
     
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  31. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I agree with Sarge on this. As a teacher, I wouldn't feel comfortable seeking help from someone who can evaluate me later.
     
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