Lack of leadership integrity

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mathematics, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. mathematics

    mathematics Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2010

    We are experiencing a lack of leadership integrity at our school.

    During a recent faculty meeting, four teachers were asked to stand up. They remained standing for about 3 to 4 minutes. During that time, another teacher went around with a basket of candy and deposited candy on the desks of all teachers who were sitting. At this point, the principal launched into a long discussion concerning her request to staff to submit to her a short note confirming that they had received an email from her. She explained that as the notes were received, they were numbered on the back. In this way, she was able to ascertain who answered the email and in what order the notes were submitted. She said she was at first going to award gift certificates to the first two teachers who responded to her email. But she decided to award all of those who responded with candy instead. She then went on to other business, and as an afterthought, asked those who were standing to sit down.

    We were astonished. The four people who were standing had failed to turn in the note she requested (either they forgot, or didn't read their emails in time), and were subjected to this public humiliation. I was not the only person who felt a strong urge to walk out of the room.

    Today, teachers were asked to fill out an anonymous survey which addressed school climate, leadership, and school safety, among other things. This survey was given to all school district personnel.

    The principal asked all of the grade chairs to collect the surveys and turn them into her. One grade level refused to do this, and instead submitted their surveys independently and anonymously. One of the teachers was called in to explain to the principal why they did not submit the survey to the grade chair as requested. The principal stated that the rest of the teachers had turned in their surveys to their grade chairs.

    The school district does not intend for the survey to be treated in this manner. The intention is for it to be an honest, anonymous evaluation of school climate. By collecting them from the grade chairs, the principal would easily be able to determine the identities of the survey writers.

    These are just two recent examples of the lack of integrity. There are many more, too numerous to mention.

    I don't know why I started this thread. I guess it's because I am trying to keep a positive attitude and am finding it difficult to do so in the face of these circumstances.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 9, 2010

    Here I am beating my drum and asking the same question: Do you have an association or union?
     
  4. mathematics

    mathematics Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2010

    Yes, we do have a union. The union is attempting to address many issues.

    The latest issue is a memo the principal sent to all staff, documenting how many times the staff member has sent students to the nurse since the beginning of the school year. Staff was advised to send students only in case of emergency, such as breathing difficulties, severe allergic reactions, etc. It was stated at the bottom of this memo that failure to comply with this directive would result in further disciplinary action.

    Meanwhile, we were informed by our union rep that the school district was currently in litigation with a parent whose son had not been sent to the nurse and who had a fractured skull. The union rep advised us to disregard the memo, continue to send students to the nurse, and document each time we did so.

    The union is doing the best it can.
     
  5. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Apr 9, 2010

    Thankfully our school uses surveymonkey.com, online and anonymous. In the past, a drop box in the lounge worked for anonymity.

    It is ridiculous that teachers be treated like the children they teach. I'm sure a follow up request to those 4 teachers would have got the requested reply. That one is more of a personality thing though.

    The nurse thing, however, is indeed a legal issue to me. Yes, most referrals are frivolous, but as we are not medical professionals we don't get to make that call. Is there a particular reason why the nurse cannot see students unless they're dying? Band-aids are part of the nurse's job description too. Hard to think what rules a teacher is breaking by sending a kid to the nurse!

    Sorry, good luck, and hang in there!
     
  6. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 10, 2010

    Like some teachers some principals are at the back of the line when it comes to people skills. Too bad this principal has power issues and needs to make others feel small so she can feel large. She may get compliance but will never get cooperation.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 10, 2010

    Nor respect.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2010

    OK, you're right, she has no leadership.

    But, knowing that or not, who in their right mind chooses NOT to reply to an email from their boss??? You don't forget stuff like that.
     
  9. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Apr 10, 2010

    Wow, the principal is not being a very good role model of treating others in a respectful manner.

    Since there is nothing you can personally do about these issues, and the union is doing the best they can, probably the best way to keep a positive attitude is to focus on what is going well in the school, and especially what is going well in your classroom. I have worked at schools that have very low staff morale, and find that this is the best way to handle it personally.
     
  10. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Apr 10, 2010

    It is ridiculous that teachers be treated like the children they teach. I'm sure a follow up request to those 4 teachers would have got the requested reply. That one is more of a personality thing though.

    I do expect to be treated like the children I teach. I treat them with respect and as individuals. This principal does NOT treat her staff as well as we would expect the children to be treated. I have worked for a bully principal before, and let me tell you, it is not fun. As the micromanaging and bullying got worse and worse, the staff felt more and more demoralized. We got to a point where teachers were staying for a year - no more, and the principal would try to make these staff members sign a statement about why they were leaving. She was trying to build a case that they were leaving for reasons other than her.
    We are a non-union district (one of the few in the entire state), so there was little we could do.
     
  11. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Apr 10, 2010

    We have similar issues at my school. Staff morale is at an all-time low. I try to stick with my department and let things go over my head. This week was extra tough for all of us. I am definitely ready for summer.
     
  12. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Apr 10, 2010

    yes, I stand corrected!
     
  13. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Apr 11, 2010

    I agree, Mrs. R. I am wondering about the timing of the response to email issue. I actually spend my time when the kids are in the room TEACHING, so when a colleague asks if I saw so-and-so's email, I often am not in the loop. I try to check my email at recess and at lunch, and again by 2:00 so I can make sure I don't have any new info about how a child is going home, but I am often working with students during lunch recess. Some days I don't get back to my email until 3:15 when I get back to my room after dismissal. I would most likely not be among those first responders, but should I be punished for doing my job?

    Thankfully, I love our leadership at my school - but we all know it can change in a heartbeat.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Good point.

    I check my email every night. I never check it during the school day.
     
  15. mathematics

    mathematics Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2010

    It does not matter to me whether the teachers who were told to stand were in the wrong. No one deserved that disrespectful treatment. I guarantee you that there is not one teacher at our school who would humiliate our students in that way.

    Sitting in that classroom full of teachers, one could feel a wave of disgust pouring over everyone. No one said a word. People are angry.

    They are also angry about the lack of anonymity of the school surveys. No one felt comfortable being honest on the surveys, knowing that at the very least, they would be identified by grade group. For the principal to actually confront someone and demand to know why certain teachers did not turn theirs in to the grade chair crossed the line.

    We teachers need to stand up against this treatment.
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 12, 2010

    This is a little off-topic, but the number of teachers at my school who claim they didn't know something or didn't do something because they "didn't check their email" drives me nuts. It's 2010. Check your email. It's the way it is-so get used to it. My principal emails almost everything to us, but there are teachers at my school who insist on a note in a mailbox, AND who print out the email when they finally get it. Talk about waste.

    Sorry, :hijack: over!
     
  17. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Apr 12, 2010

    I, too,don't have time to constantly check my email throughout the day. I teach math, so I am always working with students from bell to bell. Not to mention on MWF, I have no prep periods, so that really cuts it down.

    I read any new items in the morning before school starts, then try to check at lunch, and then at the end of the day. Other than that, I just don't have free time to be at my desk.

    To point out errors in front of work colleagues is not acceptable in any workplace. Admin should take a minute to discuss the issue with indivduals.
     
  18. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 12, 2010

    The issue goes far beyond checking email or notes. It has to do with social skills and treatment of those who make a mistake. By her actions, this principal has demonstrated how she deals with her frustration - purposely demeaning and humiliating staff in public.
     
  19. Miss Beazly

    Miss Beazly Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2010

    While this may not have been the best way to handle the situation, if your principal has to deal with this lack of cooperation and respect regularly, it's understandable.
    There are teachers at my school who not only don't bother to check their email after being asked to repeatedly, but will invariably question any directive. I often wonder how they are able to manage a classroom when they seem so unable to understand simple instructions. Principals are human.
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oh, I know, trust me. I had already commented (briefly) on the principal's unnecessary conduct. But at the same time, people who don't follow direct instructions drive me crazy (just like students who don't). Ignorance of the message is no excuse-and I mean that in my own school.
     

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