Leave bad administrators or wait them out?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by miss-m, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    A conversation at my school today got me wondering about this. I think my school's admin is pretty awesome; the P is fantastic; AP is nice to me and a few others but a lot of the staff aren't fans.
    Anyway, today we had a conversation about the P probably only staying at the school another year (just speculation; but it would make it 3 years at this school for her). Since administrators do have fairly high turnover rates (usually due to moving on or moving up), I'm curious:

    Are you more likely to leave a school to get away from admin you don't work well with (or who are straight up bad administrators), or wait them out knowing they'll likely be gone in a couple years anyway? What would make the difference for you between leaving and waiting it out?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have now worked for 4 principals and only had major issues with one of them. Things at that school were awful. She did walkthroughs at least once a week and would literally leave 2-3 pages of negative feedback, including nitpicky stuff like "your desk is messy." About halfway through the year, she informed us that she would leave positive feedback only when state test scores were at least 80% proficient (this was a school with 100% free and reduced lunch and over 90% second language students).

    She berated my teammate for "sitting down too much" in walkthroughs after my teammate had knee surgery. She did another teammate's unannounced formal eval while the students were taking a test, rated her unsatisfactory in everything (obviously, because my teammate wasn't teaching at the time), and refused to redo it. She literally screamed obscenities at people who dared to ask questions in staff meetings. She led several witch hunts and put people on administrative leave based on baseless parent complaints. Although the contract prevented her from making us do this, she continually told us that those of us that didn't tutor (for free) during planning periods and before/after school didn't care about our kids.

    This is truly a small sampling of what went on there. People cried constantly. The teacher across the hall from me literally just fainted in the hallway one day due to stress. Several people quit mid-year. I wanted to do that, but knew other schools wouldn't understand and that I'd never get hired elsewhere after that. I gained 40 pounds in one school year, had to go on medication for anxiety and insomnia, and would feel physically sick going into work in the mornings.

    I did love my students, I was teaching in my preferred job/classroom setting, and it was the best team I've ever worked on (would have never made it without them). Two of my teammates had too many years in to get out and encouraged me to "wait it out" with this awful P. There was NO WAY I could spend even one more year there. The P ended up getting fired after her third year there. For the last 2 months of school, she had an HR babysitter and part of her "rules" were to go in to each classroom and say good morning to everyone, with her HR babysitter in tow :rofl:. Although I would have loved to see that, there is no way I could have lasted 3 years with her.

    The other 3 P's I've worked for have had pros and cons, but nothing that would make me leave just because of them. Several teachers at my school really disliked our previous P. She did end up getting non-renewed by the district. She did have some flaws, but was NOTHING like my insane P. I used to tell people they were extremely fortunate if she was the worst P they'd worked for. BTW, she was there for 8 years, so those "waiting her out" waited quite a long time!
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Personally..I wait them out. I haven't ever left because of a P. There are so many other things that are more important to me...the commute in the morning, the grade I get to teach, the autonomy I get to teach using my talents and creativity etc. If I get a bad P, I usually just avoid them. Only have to see them once in awhile.
     
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  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If I liked most other things, I’d wait it out. I’ve worked under four administrators. I love one, feel neutral about another, feel a mild sense of dissatisfaction with one, and pretty strongly dislike the final one.
     
  6. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    On the fence as we speak...

    Here’s my take on EC/Head Start:

    Decent kids, nice co-workers. Good pay and decent area. Good admin-bad principal. I’ll stay because I know admin has my back.

    Good kids, crazy parents, iffy neighborhood, decent co-workers, incompent P.....I’ll tough it out for awhile.

    Bad area, good kids, good P and admin...good co-workers...I don’t worry as much. Somebody is there in case of emergency.

    Bad co-workers, bad kids, good pay, good area....I try to get P and and admin on board to work problems out.

    Bad area, bad kids, vicious/lazy co-workers, bad P, and admin non-existent/turns blind eye and good pay...yeah, I’m outta there by second pay period.

    My concerns right now are:

    Entitled/lazy teachers who don’t supervise their kids at all. They all all over the place and everyone, including parents keeps telling me. Hey! Those aren’t my kids! I’m not doing my job and somebody else's job too!

    No sick pay. No snow day pay. No jury duty pay!

    No health insurance (or any benefits).

    It’s unfair because I am full time and make too much for ACA subsidy. So I get screwed at tax time because I should have cancelled my plan once I earned a higher salary. And insurance without the subsidy is outrageous and I’ll get penalized for not having it! I don’t like going without health care. Have a supplemental AFLAC plan only.

    Definitely more than the competency and stability of P/director/administation that dictates teacher satisfaction.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have worked for an assortment of Principals in my years. I have left a couple of schools because of the bad admins. My experience is that the bad admin made the entire school a negative, stressful experience. I preferred to go find a school where my positive outlook on life was shared.
     
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  8. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    In my six years, we've only had 2 different principals. The 4 assistant principals have stayed the same. They've all been fine. Some have not been amazing at disciplining the kids, but we don't have too many major disciplinary issues anyway. They're all friendly, fair, and not out to get you, so I can't complain as I know others have it much worse.
     
  9. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    I have, twice. The first, I was blindsided by having my award-winning theatre program taken from me to give to a crony of the principal. He did leave a year later, as did the teacher who replaced me, so in hindsight, I maybe should have waited it out, but I couldn't have lived with the constant influx of student complaints I would have gotten--I got them anyway, even though I left the school--from parents that I had known for years who were personal friends and even my new principal. My last school also--had a great principal--they moved him up to bring in a crony--school was destroyed. Couldnt' spend another minute with him, even though the writing was on the wall that he wouldn't be there too much longer. Would have loved to be there when they fired him, the superintendent, and the entire school board, but landed in a great place. My current P is a nightmare, but I can deal with her, so while I know some people are leaving because of her this year, I love what I teach, so she isn't going to drive me away. We're pretty sure she won't be here next year. She was a placeholder
     
  10. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    I think I lean towards the "wait it out" camp... unless I wound up with an admin like the one waterfall was describing. I think then I might head for the hills and revisit my childhood dream of being a cowgirl.

    That being said, I don't have a lot of experience with administrators period. I've only had two.

    My first year teaching I traveled between two different schools, one of which is my permanent full-time school now. The principal at the school I no longer work at was...okay. Perhaps because of my ever-changing schedule, I didn't see her a whole lot, but I never had any issues with her. The principal at my current school is awesome. She's been here for close to twenty years, which I think is pretty impressive for an administrator. Overall she's very fair and trusts teachers to do their jobs, which I appreciate. My biggest fear is that when she finally retires (rumored to be in another year or two, but who knows?) we'll wind up with a very micromanaging replacement.
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Wait it out.

    We have a short self life. In my district, we're moved around from site-to-site every 3-8 years. No administrator stays at a site longer than 8 years...ever. Sometimes, the 3-8 year rule doesn't apply because someone moves up the ladder sooner than that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  12. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    The answer depends on the "type" of incompetency we are dealing with. The P at my last school was incompetent buy he stayed out of my way. So, while there were school-wide issues there that were not resolved, my day to day life in my classroom wasn't affected much. I left due to relocation.
    The incompetency that would cause me to leave is the "blundering micromanager" who would impact what I do.References to this type are mentioned above and on many other posts on this site. I haven't the time or patience left anymore to deal with those types of people.
     
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  13. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I’m curious why this is? It seems so weird that principals would move or get moved so frequently when stability is so good for a school overall.
     
  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That's definitely not a thing here. We've had admins in schools for 3 times that.
     
  15. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    100% would leave. But so much of what I care about in a school environment is directly tied to the principal's leadership, so that makes sense. In fact, the single hardest thing to consider when leaving my last job was leaving the P. I LOVED her, but I needed to change schools for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with her. It was the right decision, but devastating. It's taken me almost 2 years to really warm up to my new P. There's nothing major wrong with her...I was just pouting that she wasn't Old P. :tearsofjoy: I literally feel like I'm just now getting over it.

    I really thrive on a strong relationship with Admin. For some, that's not the case. This is my only explanation for why people work in terrible schools with terrible leadership for so long. :eek: It's not unusual to have Admin stick around for years, here. My Old P was at my school for 20+ years as a teacher, then AP, then P. My new P has been at my current school 7 years as an assistant principal and then P. I like stability!
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    That's the way it has always been done here. Maybe things will change once our superintendent retires, but I doubt it.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Currently, our district is posting all transfer opportunities for teachers. Once teachers are completely done with (voluntary) transfers, administrator moves will be announced.
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Losing it now....

    Supervisor just gave me 5 more things to do. My computer has been down for a week. We had a field trip and nobody was watching their kids except me and my co-teacher. Parents complaining. Kids given special treatment...I can’t say ‘no’, ‘stop’ but the kids are tearing my room apart.

    I am exhausted....
    :(
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    That must be difficult to get ingrained in a community and having to deal with constantly being uprooted...
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    You need to tell your supervisor when enough is enough, but tactfully. Tell her you have too much on your plate and that you cannot handle the additional workload currently due to ongoing circumstances beyond your control (computer troubles). You don’t have to do everything they say if it affects your work performance and mental health!
     
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  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our VPs move quite quickly--almost never more that 2 years at a site. Our principals tend to be moved between schools every 4 to 5 years.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Change can be refreshing. I was at my last site for 4 years. I learned quite a bit. However, I was ready for something new. Honestly, though, although this is my 5th year as a VP--I feel like a brand new administrator this year because every site does things in a different way (even within the same district).

    I feel fortunate to have been paired with someone who has the same vision I have. We share the same view about kids and have very similar core values. I won't say that my former principal and I disliked one another, but we definitely weren't buddies! The transfer came at the perfect time!

    The relationship between a P and VP is like a marriage, in my humble opinion!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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  23. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I wish it were that easy.

    I am annoyed because so many teachers are allowed to do absolutely nothing all day. It's totally unfair to expect only a few of us to do this much work. Now P expects 'intentional teaching' during outside play. WTH? If the kids can't run and have free play outside, how are they ever going to learn to socialize, fall and get up, and just let off steam?!
     
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  24. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Just like in retail, they take the good ones and put them in more challenging places to help stabilize that area. In some cases, the P may secretly request a transfer for personal reasons that they have kept to themselves. Also, it gives them more experience should they want to take on higher positions. The more experience you have, the better your chances for central office jobs.
     
  25. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    For the life of me, I honestly can't figure out why anyone who is in education would want to be in a central office job. There are no students there and nothing really ever seems to happen at the central office anyways (at least in my district). Looks like the worst possible job an educator could have imo.
     
  26. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I left due to bad admin and now I'm much happier :)
     
  27. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    The $$$.
     
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  28. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Because there are no students there, nothing happens.

    Peace and quiet and a check. Along with the status of saying you’re in education.

    Yeah, I’d do that...
     
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  29. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    That's certainly my aspiration!
     
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  30. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I will do this eventually.
     
  31. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Be careful what you wish for...on the surface, I guess I can see the appeal from the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" perspective. But over time, continual "peace and quiet and nothing happening" leads to boredom and stagnation. I can't envision a career of this, where one's major focus is collecting a paycheck and waiting things out until retirement. I have known people who have done that but it is not a fulfilling way to spend years (or decades) of one's life.
     
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  32. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Right,

    It’s all about timing. At this point, I’m pushing 60. ;) So I am ready to slow things down a bit.

    When I moved into my building, I felt I would be bored with all my older neighbors. And yes, several have moved into nursing homes, and some have passed away. Still, I am comfortable in this setting vs. a building full of young people in and out all night, playing loud music, babies crying and kids running up and down the halls. When I come home, I want peace. I have that now.

    When I was in grad school, I learned Erikson had another level of cognitive development. I think it was 60+ Integrity vs. Despair. I want to know my life had meaning, and I was able to do great things. My work with children of all ages & races from Chicago to L.A. and back had purpose. I won’t be moping around saying “If only...”
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  33. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  34. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'm curious: did you have anyone higher up you could complain to? I work in alternative ed, so I'm not sure how it is in the unified school districts, but here we have a director above our P who we can go to with concerns (and I did that and felt comfortable; quite a few things got resolved) and above her another person, and above him the superintendent.
    I cannot imagine working under the scenarios you described.
     
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  35. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    That doesn't work when the whole district is corrupt. This was a TOUGH school district and she had no experience whatsoever that would indicate she was prepared to lead in it. She should have never been hired in the first place. The union did go to the superintendent and was continuously told that the principal was in charge and that unless she was specifically violating the contract, there was nothing that could be done. The only reason she did finally end up getting fired is that she took PTO money, used it on happy hour drinks for "favorite" teachers, and bragged about it on facebook :eek:. At the time there were something like 200-300 grievances against her that had never been addressed until money came into the equation (and think how many people were afraid to file grievances, so the true number of incidents would be much higher).

    At a board meeting where there were complaints, the super told the principal to "get the staff on her bus" and if they aren't willing to "get on board," fire them. This was a very low SES neighborhood where the majority of parents didn't speak English, so it's not like they could fight for us (in a nearby wealthy district, some corrupt things were happening and parents put a stop to it). She ended up non-renewing every single probationary teacher in the building. Thankfully, I had seen the writing on the wall and resigned very early, prior to these decisions being made, so I didn't have to report anything on applications.
     
  36. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    My principal is so awesome and supportive! I fear the day he leaves, because as much as I love teaching here I think sometimes it is that support that keeps me going. Hopefully, once I am beyond my first year my strength will come from other sources.
     
  37. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Camel13,

    A word of grandmotherly advice....

    Your strength is within you now. It has taken you this far, and you will continue to build and learn from your mistakes and success. How heartbreaking would it be to have your principal gone before the year ends? Trust me, I’ve seen it happen a few times.

    Rely on you, and teach as if nobody’s watching.... Don’t seek confidence in where you work, have condidence to do your work anywhere. :)
     
  38. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    200-300 grievances and she still was NOT fired until money was involved?!

    This is why people bash public schools... I generally support public schools, but why should someone keep their job with that many complaints?
     
  39. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I usually say wait it out, but today has me wishing I had filled out a transfer form...
     
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  40. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Seven more weeks....
     
  41. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We only have three after this week. But there's always next year...
     

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