Micro managing

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeacherWhoRuns, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Sep 9, 2017

    Let me state first that I recognize that as principal, it is certainly within that person's realm of authority to make certain changes.
    Last year we got a new principal who unilaterally changed the entire bell schedule to because she didn't want different grade levels going to lunch at the same time. It got to the point where some grade levels had lunch within the ten o'clock hour. She left. We then had a temporary principal who was very hesitant to change anything because he thought he might be moved again, and sure enough, he was sent to a high school within the district before the year was up.
    This year we have another new principal who has taken over scheduling of everything. Specials, pull outs, intervention, RSP, the hours SDI students are mainstreamed, even the daily schedule of when different subject areas should be covered in each classroom.
    I get that he has a vision, but sometimes I think that someone new gets so involved in trying to make major changes, they don't acknowledge that there's a reason some things are the way they are. He has gotten very defensive at any pushback and takes questions to be challenges to his authority. I've been in staff meetings where I thought there were going to be huge blowups because we have staff with 20+ years who are used to a bit more autonomy.
    Has anyone else had a micro-managing principal?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 9, 2017

    Been there, done that...I sympathize with you.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Sep 9, 2017

    Our principal creates our master schedule, which includes specials, lunch, recess, and when each content area will be taught in each grade. He also creates our special programs schedule that includes counseling, among other lessons. He collaborates with our reading specialist and math specialist to create the intervention schedule. After that, the special ed team and ESL team create their schedules, based on the other schedules already created. Classroom teachers have very little, if any, autonomy to adjust the schedule - with exceptions for special schedule days (like early release days, party days, etc.).

    Personally, I think this works best because the needs of the entire school community are considered. Sure, as professionals, we'd like to have the autonomy to create a schedule that we think is best, but then, we're only looking at our own needs and wants. The principal (and any teams he chooses to collaborate with in scheduling) has the vision to see the needs of everyone and do his best to meet the entire school community's needs, even if his decisions don't appear to be ideal for a particular individual or group of teachers. Having a structured master schedule also makes it much easier for special ed and other pull out teachers to create their schedules and create them well. When teachers at the same grade level have a variety of different schedules, it can make it quite complicated for those teachers to find ideal times for pulling out groups of students from different classrooms - and that can already be a very complicated task, even when those teachers are working with a structured mastered schedule.
     
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  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 9, 2017

    Yep! I feel you!
     
  6. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Sep 9, 2017

    Our principal does the majority of our scheduling including special ed services, though our building CSE person helps with that part. The only thing he doesn't do is the related services - speech, OT, and PT. That's all figured out after the master schedule is in place. I don't have a problem with that because like bella84 said, he has the big picture view whereas we're usually just looking at ourselves. Some of our gen ed teachers are particularly prickly about special ed services that just have to be provided at certain times based on provider availability. He will send out drafts as he works on them and listen to feedback from different corners. But he still often denies requests for certain moves. But I guess now that I've typed all of that out, he's not really micromanaging.

    That said, the whole "new principal every year who comes in and changes things just to make a personal mark" is exactly why I left my last school. The last principal had some good ideas, but stepped on a lot of toes by coming in and making a lot of sweeping comments about the school and staff before she'd taken a hot minute to get to know anyone. Three years of that carousel was plenty for me.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 9, 2017

    The framework of our schedules is created by the administrators--Music, Phys Ed, French, Library, Special Ed and ELL are the starting point of the schedule and we must plan around those. Everything else is scheduled by the teacher, but must honour the times laid out for us.
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 9, 2017

    Scheduling is one of the most important things in a school. One wrong move and all the sudden IEP's are being put in jeopardy.

    What probably happened whether you realize it or not is the principal didn't just switch things so grades wouldn't sit together at lunch. She shuffled so that a specialist could hit every grade during the day for some compliance issue. If there are two lunches and during each there are two classes who both have the same lunch, those are two periods where the specialist misses 4 grade levels. Then you factor in specials and other services and it's a mess. I give the benefit of doubt to that principal who made the change. The reason the replacement probably didn't make any changes, was because there was no changes to make. That's also why schedules change during the year as new students are classified.

    Of course I say all this with no actual inside information.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sep 9, 2017

    This is why we have about 5-6 different leadership "teams" that discuss different types of issues/decisions - teams of across grade level teachers, classified staff and principal - so that all voices are heard, and more importantly, multiple perspectives are seen that might not otherwise be.
     
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  10. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Sep 9, 2017

    No, she shuffled it because she walked in convinced that because we were a Title I school, we were populated with the Future Criminals of America and she didn't want too many kids on the playground at the same time.

    The micro-managing I'm shaking my head about goes way beyond scheduling. That's just the most visible part of it and something that is felt at a broader level. There's a lot more to it.
    But, it is what it is and our job is to teach regardless of what admin is doing at a given point in time.
     
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  11. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 9, 2017

    Different principals bring their own experience and style to each school - sometimes it's the luck of the draw. As teachers, it is what it is, and we have to be professional and get on with the job, or quit. If the P's policies end up with disastrous consequences, they have to wear it.
    It's the same with students, every teacher has a different style, they don't get why we do certain things a certain way, they may like another teacher better for this reason or that reason but they are stuck with us whether they like it or not.
     
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