New principal is so ferociously picky

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tchr4vr, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Sep 24, 2017

    Any advice? Here's the deal--
    My new principal is so nitpicky. We have to turn in lessons plans a week in advance. That in of itself is a little annoying for me because I have 5 preps-but I can work with it. The problem is she wants incredibly detailed plans. She has specifically been complaining about my success criteria-they weren't specific enough. She met with me and she made it clear that she wants numbers. So, I added numbers. Still not right. Then she asked how my AP/DE kids know they're being successful. (We do lots of discussion and close reading, and there is not a set answer or number, because every reading speaks differently to each kid.) I told her this, and she said I need to formatively assess them. I do-conferencing, questioning, looking at annotations, etc. She wants something written, almost every class. She said it needs to be quantifiable-data.

    I spend so much time writing lesson plans-4 hours or so-it leaves me little time to work on the actual teaching part. Now, if I had my planning everyday, it wouldn't be so bad, but we have meetings 3 days out of 5 every week.

    The whole faculty feels like this-every Monday we talk about how angry she makes us.

    I really love my kids and my classes and my colleagues. I want to tell her to go jump, but I can't. She didn't bother to learn my name until a few days ago.

    Any suggestions on how to deal? I'm hoping she'll get bogged down as the year progresses, but right now, I spend my Sunday evenings trying to fix what she doesn't like and cursing.
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Sounds like she has WAY too much time on her hands.....which is surprising for a new principal. In my school, we are only required to submit plans for 1 week of each month, and they are just a few quick bullet points. No one actually reads them, they just check off a box that we did them, but writing lesson plans in general is a waste of time once you have a few years of experience.
     
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  4. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I don't have any advice, but that's gotta be annoying. 15 highly detailed lesson plans a week and she's still not happy? There is way too much importance placed on quantitative data. I understand it has a place, but with all the focus on the numbers we lose sight of the human connections and growth being made in the classroom that can't be measured in numbers. Sounds like she wants rubrics which is something I feel would be better developed by the dept rather than each individual teacher- or at least I would assume. I'm not sure how secondary works
     
  5. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Sep 24, 2017

    Is your school low performing? She's probably trying to cover her own @$$ by showing she's tough on staff. She seems terrible. So sorry.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 25, 2017

    Do you have a union? No way my district would tolerate this.

    But since you have to deal with it, put some burden on her and ask her to teach a lesson and demonstrate how the lesson plan for it should look.
    Good luck.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 25, 2017

    No ideas for you, just sympathy. It's still amazing how new administrators go from the classroom to the office and completely forget their teaching experience!
     
  8. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Your situation is annoying not only because it's time consuming but because it's micromanaging and shows a lack of confidence in staff. Formative assessment takes so many forms and I think teacher observations are a powerful formative assessment. Too bad your P does not see that. We give students a little reflection sheet on the success criteria at the end of the week to stick in their books and that's a good form of formative assessment.
     
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  9. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2017

    Someone is out to make a name for herself at your staff's expense.

    They will push us to work 12-16 hours a day, every day. But then, our paychecks never align with such outrageous expectations.

    Any way to make data templates you can copy and fill out as needed, as you progress through the week? I'd look for ways to reduce the time spent recording this data she wants to a bare minimum.
     
  10. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    It is in math, but not English--in fact our reading scores went up 25% last year--with no micromanagement. I've been teaching for a long time-18 years, and I've never undergone this kind of nitpickiness, even when I was a new teacher.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Would she be happy with an exit ticket as quantifiable data? Make it a one or two line response that shows basic understanding / mastery of the day's topic. Record the results as a 0, 1, or 2. Hand her the pile tickets if she gets persnickety.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Ohhh emmm geee.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  14. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    Awful! We had a VP like like my second year. He was my "observer" and made me do all the full lesson plans. He ran me through the ringer on the five formal observations he gave me. I was untenured or he never would have gotten away with this. He also used to take up all of my planning which goes against our contract.

    I cannot imagine if I had to deal with this on a daily basis. By the end of the year, mine eventually wore himself out and stopped following up. There is just no time. I hope and pray that your principal gets too bogged down to torture you further.

    Are you the only person in your department? If not, I would join forces or see what others are doing.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    First, this is awful. I'm sorry this is making your year stressful!

    Second, a thought:
    Can you find an easy, quick way to assess just to make your P happy?

    I'm not sure what subject you teach, but say you teach 11th grade English and are working on this standard.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6
    Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).

    It would be easy enough to give a pretest and post test each day on something simple from this. For example:

    At the start of class, ask:

    The use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning is called ____.

    (Answer is irony)

    Have them write down their answer at the start of class, have them check again at the end of class, and you have quick pre and post assessment.

    Your goal might be: By the end of class, students will be able to define the word with an 80% success rate.

    This is silly and time consuming, but it would be an easy way to mark whether they understood the lesson.
     
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  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 25, 2017

    This sounds like a terribly run school and I'm guessing a charter since you didn't mention union. There are bad leaders in every kind of school
     
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  17. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Sep 26, 2017

    It's actually a public, in a right-to-work state. Not having a union is not the problem--I worked under an administrator similar to this in NY where I had a union. Our last principal was not like this, nor the one before, from what I understand. Everything else is running the same as usual--it's just her driving us all batty.
     
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  18. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I suspect this will be true. She will not be able to keep this up for the entire year. So try to do your plans as efficiently as possible and wait her out. One year I had a principal that decided all the teachers were going to maintain portfolios. She bought binders, made fancy cover pages and put labeled divider pages to make different sections for our portfolios. She stored them in her office so she could use them for our evaluations. She retired at the end of the year and not a single person had put a single piece of paper in their binders - there wasn't time! We didn't have time to go to the office and put in the papers and she didn't have time to follow up. Your principal is feeling pressure from the people working above her, so she's passing that on to you. But I don't think she's going to be able to keep this up.
     
  19. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  20. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Is this AP English? Reducing literature to something "quantifiable" is just emblematic of everything I find problematic in this kind of view of education :mad:
     
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  21. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  22. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    I'd bog her down with minutiae. I had to do this when I first started teaching because nobody trusted me, and rightfully so. I was a terrible teacher and needed all the help I could get.

    It's a pain, but this principal is new, and is probably trying to get a handle on the situation by finding out who shouldn't be there. One way to do that is via the brown m&m test. The band Van Halen had a clause in their contract with promoters that stated there would be a bowl of m&ms in the backstage area that did not have any brown m&ms. The promoters thought this was nuts, but there was method to their madness because the band believed that if you could mess something so simple up, then they'd mess things up that actually matter.

    At the end of the day, it's just detailed lesson plans. Once you prove to her you can do it, I'm sure she'll ease up.
     
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  23. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Everybody assumes it will stop but all that's guaranteed is they will stop looking, not stop requiring.
     
  24. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    If this keeps up, I would move to another school. This is WAY too much. I would almost think INSANE. How does this promote good teaching? How does this principal have the TIME to look through all of these for each teacher?? Is this all the principal does?? My principal barely has time to fit in evaluations. Don't see how this will work or last. I think maybe a quick anonymous email to the superintendent would do some good to show what this principal is doing. Either that or this principal will be gone from stress in the first year.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I just thought of something else: I would HATE to be his/her vice principal! I can't even imagine.
     
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