OCD Principal !!!!!

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Junebug, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Junebug

    Junebug Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    The honeymoon is over, the truth is revealed and wow is it ugly! My new job/principal is unbelievable. She decorates your room and you are not allowed to put anything up (another new teacher had put her credentials up and had them removed after school one day):eek:. You can not move any furniture either. I have to have 3 groups even though I have 24 students (8 in a group). :dizzy: I am looking for another job for next year and I had so hoped that I had found the "right" place. Sorry, I just had to vent:help:
     
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  3. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    She decorates your room? Does she understand what a principal is? How much time does she have on her hands??!!
     
  4. Junebug

    Junebug Comrade

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    She is so very controlling. She isn't married (no surprise) and spends most of her time at school. This year with zone changes, about 2 classes per grade level k-5 has been added. Maybe she will have to cut back, but not on the new teachers. She told me "put that room back just like it was when you got it" I could not believe it, I had only moved a few things to help with flow, but I put it back.
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Wow! I've heard of principals proofreading notes home and lesson plans, but never decorating classrooms. Although, I had a principal one time who told me I had to take down something in my room that I had spent hours making, and which I got TONS of compliments on. I cried the whole time I was doing it, and asked for a transfer as soon as I could.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    WOW! No advice, but, come here to vent when ever you need to! And remember, not all Principals are like that. Look at Tiffany...hey, maybe she'll hire you next year!
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Seems to me that you should contact your union on this one. Your room is yours, and the principal should keep her hands off.
     
  8. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I agree. Is she doing this with all her teachers or just you? I think her supervisors would be interested in knowing she has enough time on her hands to do tasks so out of her job description.
     
  9. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    That seems so extreme. Do all the rooms look exactly the same? I mean is she doing bulletin boards and curtains in the windows? This sounds bizarre to me. And please know, this is not a norm. As a matter of fact, this is an exception to the rule. Kinda like... "i before e except after c" She is the "their" in the world of principals. Other than that are there more odd behaviors?
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Let me preface my reply by saying:
    a) I've never had a principal who was anywhere near over the line and
    b) I'm in a non-union Catholic school, so maybe my outlook is different.

    But I disagree with the idea that "the room is yours." It seems to me that "the school is hers" and that her authority does indeed extend to the classroom. If there were something objectionable posted, I would think the principal would have the responsiblility of having it removed. I think a good principal has an idea of what's going on in each room of his or her school. (I once had an AP stop by as he was walking down the hall because he loved the lesson I was teaching... he ended up staying for half an hour and writing it up as an observation. He's now Principal at my husband's school.)

    Not really a major point, but I've NEVER seen a classroom where a teacher's credentials were posted. (And I've been in LOTS of public school classrooms across the country when I judged Speech and Debate; a different city hosts Nationals each year.) I wouldn't call that objectionable, but I can see that a principal question the posting of it.

    That said, it does sound as though maybe this particular principal is a bit too focused on the small picture. Is she like this with everyone, or just the new teachers? I say you try to go with the flow for a while-- do things her way and see how it goes. That first year of teaching is so hard in so many ways; don't let THIS be the thing that causes you stress. She's the boss, do what she says, and concentrate on giving the best education you can to all those 5 year olds in your care.

    It does sound as though the principal in question is micromanaging. But if that's the worst of it, I would hang on to this job in a rough economy.
     
  11. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Wow Junebug! I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. I have worked for 3 principals in my career and I can't imagine anyone of them telling me how to arrange furniture. This woman has way to much time on her hands. Does she care as much about the education that goes on in the rooms each day or how the kids are behaving as much as she cares about how pretty the room looks?

    To Aliceacc, yes the room doesn't belong to the teacher, but it certainly doesn't give the principal the right to go into the room after hours and remove another teacher's credentials. She could have told her the next day to remove them, but she actually removed someone elses property. After school I know different people come and go out of my room (cleaners, janitors) and I expect the things that are in my room to be left the way I leave them. Besides the furniture most of what is in my room was purchased by me! Therefore it belongs to me and shouldn't be touched.
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    For what it's worth, I've taught in several schools where were encouraged to have our degrees and certificates framed and on the wall or near our desks. When I was in college, we were encouraged to do so when we had our own classrooms. If you think about it, most other professionals have them up in their offices. Why shouldn't teachers?

    I understand that principals are the boss, but I know that I could not work in that stifling of an environment. i went to college to learn how to make important educational decisions about children. I understand giving me a goal and some parameters, but every teacher will have a different style, and the best principals recognize that.
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 27, 2009

    Well said.

    I'm sorry your principal is so controlling. I couldn't imagine dealing with that my first year. Have you talked to your mentor about it?
     
  14. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Our district motto is "every child will graduate college ready". Every Wednesday is district wide college t-shirt/sweatshirt day and all staff (including principals) are encouraged to wear college gear. Many schools display a bulletin board in the front entry way with a picture of each teacher and the college he/she went to. Teachers are encouraged to display their diplomas on the wall in their classroom to encourage students to attend college. On Fridays we have spirit wear day and most campuses have created t-shirts that say University of ______ (elementary school's name) that all students and teachers wear. Some schools also place a logo from the univeristy the teacher attended outside of every teacher's classroom door. This is a very low SES school district in an urban area. In our district, if you walked into a classroom and didn't see the teacher's college diploma on the wall it would be strange.
     
  15. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Sep 27, 2009

    We are required to have our credentials posted somewhere in the room. Basically, just our teaching certificate but some also include diplomas. Every principal I have known has their's hanging in their office.

    We are allowed to arrange and decorate our rooms as we like as long as it meets the fire codes. Last year, I had a much smaller room and the new principal told me to remove the homeliving center because my room was too crowded. I did as I was told. This year, I have a much larger room with plenty of space for homeliving and many other extras. The principal has complimented me on my use of space.

    I agree that an explanantion is in order rather than just removing things in a classroom.
     
  16. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2009

    Ahhh....that was so nice! :)

    To the OP: do you have the freedom to teach the way you want? Micromanaging administrators are NO fun, for sure. Does she micromanage everything?

    As a teacher, I so appreciated how our district allowed us to teach however we wanted, as long as we were getting results. Decorating was pretty low on my list of major concerns, curriculum was another story, however.
     
  17. missamie

    missamie Rookie

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    As frustrating as this is first - take a deep breath and be thankful you have a job - then start documenting everything. As a new teacher you need to be careful and not cause waves, but as time goes by you may be able to use your documentation to state your case to a union rep or other official.

    Hang in there. I've worked for some awful principals, my first year of teaching I did what I could to be the best teacher I could and then I transfered out of my school at the end of the year. Like I said, be thankful you have a job and focus on what you can change and not what you can't.

    Good luck
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 27, 2009

    YIKES...I can't imagine. I am very OCD about my classroom, but I always have my students' need in mind. I like things a certain way, and if someone told me how they should be I would go crazy!!! My principal compliments my classroom when I re-arrange it, and he is always more than willing to offer suggestions....If I ask! He would never just come in my classroom and tell me how to do things.

    If I were you, I would continue to look for another job and just deal with her craziness, no matter how hard it is. As a new teacher, you don't want to cause waves, especially if you need a letter of recommendation from her for a new job. I wouldn't go to a higher authority to complain-you're just going to get on her bad side.

    Good luck. :(
     
  19. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Read "The First 100 Days of School" by Harry Wong...he stresses the importance of posting these!:)

    Teachers should post their credentials! When you go to the doctor, you see their diploma posted. You are a professional and should be proud of your credentials! I have my undergraduate and masters diplomas posted above my desk. When I get my national boards finished, I'm posting it too! :2cents:


    :mad:I would be FURIOUS if my principal asked me to rearrange my room without good reason (ie. fire code). She is not teaching in my room with my children and can't possibly understand the flow or why I like my furniture a certain way. I agree that the room isn't MINE! IF she wants me to switch rooms next year, then so be it. But it is MY room for the year while I'm in there teaching. Moving furniture isn't like painting the walls! Geeze!
     
  20. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    :unsure:
     
  21. Rainbows23

    Rainbows23 Rookie

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    does your ditrict have a concerns committee you ca take this to?
     
  22. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I have a room that needs decorating. Send her my way.

    BTW, I'm the polar opposite of OCD, whatever that might be. Not a fun trip either.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    "I'm glad you stated this preface"

    Right.

    Because otherwise someone might be tempted to take my opinion seriously.
     
  24. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I think you're taking that the wrong way, Aliceacc. You just have a different perspective, like I do with my online teaching status. It doesn't make either of our comments or ideas any less vital.

    As for the matter at hand, it does sound like something that might be handled properly by the school union if there is one. The principal's vision of how the desks should be placed is interfering with the movement and function of the classroom activity.
     
  25. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I agree that, unfortunately the rooms do not belong to us. It's unfortunate that you work for such a principal, but that is life. I've principals I've loved and some I hated. Feelings toward your principal may affect your choice of whether to stay next year or not. It depends on how much it bothers you. You can always find a place that is worse. Every school has pros and cons.

    I can't imagine why a principal would not want you to post credentials. That just seems wonderful. But of course she is the boss.......
     
  26. janney

    janney Cohort

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    What do you mean by she won't let you put anything up? Personal things, decorations, or student work? I know there are teaching philosophies that only want student made work to be on the wall. I don't understand why she would want you to have only three groups of desks. I would think 4 groups of 6 would be better.

    Like the pp's, I am amazed that she has enough time to mess with the teacher's rooms. There must be some things in her actual job description that she's not doing like she should. Be looking out for these things and document them if feel the need to go to your union.
     
  27. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2009

    I had a director like this last year, but I was working at a Head Start. She told me exactly where I could put my desk, and there could not be a stack of papers on the desk or any sort of "mess" anywhere. I was teaching pre-k, people! One Monday I walked in to find furniture pushed everywhere and materials haphazard. She and her supervisor had come in to "clean" and not moved my stuff back. I was so ticked. It never felt like my room, because I wasn't allowed to place things the way I wanted. I lasted 6 months.

    I'm in a public school pre-k this year. I have a mentor who suggested some room changes, and had some good ideas. We're trying them out, but I know she'll be okay with the two centers my assistant and I are thinking of switching. The difference in atmosphere is phenominal, and I'm so much happier this year.

    So, I know what you're going through, and leaving a place like that was the best decision for me. But I would document everything she says to you to cya.
     
  28. k-tchr

    k-tchr Rookie

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    I was told at a teachers convention that if we want respect as teachers, we should post our credentials. Even though I never have, the point was that we are professionals. Doctors, lawyers, etc. all post theirs. Why shouldn't we???
     
  29. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I guess it is my managment style, but I believe that I hire a teacher for her/his capabilities as an educator. I trust that person to develop the environment to suit the process. Therefor, I belive it is the teacher's decision on how to maintain the room. If there are issues, a discussion is appropriate.

    And, Head Start has some carefully detailed concepts that require a room to be set up in a specific way. I have seen HS staff do a great job of supporting teachers while adhering to the HS standards. Unfortunately, many HS just bull doze the concepts and take over for the teachers. How much better is would be to explain and train.
     
  30. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My degrees and certification is posted in my room. At my first teaching job, the principal had all of our degrees professionally framed. Doctors and other professionals post their degrees and license, why not us? And I am not the only one in my school that posts theirs. I am proud of my NBPTS and I want parents to know I have it.
     
  31. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Holy cow; I'm the teacher and I don't have time to do my own bulletin boards...where in the world does a principal find the time to do EVERYONE's bulletin boards????
    Scary!:eek:hmy:
     
  32. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    :thumb:
     
  33. ilovekkids

    ilovekkids Rookie

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    I think that I read all of the posts, but I may have missed this: Does she do this to ALL of the teachers? As I was reading, I couldn't help but to chuckle because my principal is OCD as well; not quite this bad, but she has the potential to be.

    At any rate, what I have noticed with her is that she makes certain demands and "strong suggestions" to untenured teachers that she would never make to the rest of us who have been around for a while.

    Grit your teeth, dig in your heels and do the very best that you can to educate your children this year. In the meantime, keep your feelers out for something else for next year. There are many, many adminstrators out there who are more concerned about the quality of the instruction that students are receiving, rather than where the furniture is placed.

    And by the way, technically, the school buildings belong to ALL of us as tax paying citizens! The principals work under someone else, too! Do their "superiors" have the "right" to come into their offices and arrange the space the way that they would like? This is not a matter of who's in charge as much as it is a matter of RESPECT for others as people.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  34. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Any updates, Junebug?
     
  35. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    The principal is an idiot.
     
  36. Junebug

    Junebug Comrade

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    I'm back. I was missing in action. I think I will just accept what she wants and yes she does all the rooms, even the library! I wondered when I found a picture of the classroom and now I know, it is supposed to look like the picture!
    And yes it could be worse, one P I had was the devil, well that was what everyone called him :lol:
    The advice the other new to the school teachers have heard is to try to be invisible. I can handle that. The thing is none of the new to the school teacher knew what we were getting into.
    Sorry, for being so long, I read all the posts and agree with most (idiot post) and it does help to vent and know that I have support here :):thanks:
     
  37. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Do you happen to teach in Stepfordville?
     
  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess your P is taking NCLB at face value...every child learns at exactly the same pace and the same way.
     
  39. AFWifeNGermany

    AFWifeNGermany Rookie

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    I must say that I disagree with those who believe the room does not belong to the teacher. As a teacher, my room is MY space. I buy the items I use and I spend my time arranging it. Does that mean I take home the furniture at the end of the year? No, but while we are in school, the room is mine. And the library?! That's just out of control. Did she also get her Masters in Library Science? I think not.

    That lady needs to quit micro managing and focus on her job required tasks. I'd be in her face daily asking for district policy regarding what she is doing.

    Good luck girl!
     

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