Please tell me I'm not overreacting...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teachin4ever, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    Jan 21, 2010

    My P pulled a really crappy stunt yesterday and I am so peeved!

    Our school had an assembly yesterday afternoon. It didn't end until 5 minutes before the students were to be dismissed from school (at then end of the day). So after the assembly, our P thanks the students for being attentive and then says, "And no homework tonight!" and then leaves the gym!!!! None of the teachers were told about this so we were all looking at each other like, "Seriously? Did he really just say that??" And the kids (I teach middle school) were all over the place shouting and giving each other high fives and asking us if we still had our test tomorrow and if our math homework was still due, etc. I was beyond pissed! It was a total cluster. So I told them I guess they didn't have to do anything that was assigned today.

    So this morning, all the teachers get an email from the P saying that as principal, he's allowed to make executive decisions, which is what he did yesterday. And then he said, and I quote, "Remember...the number one rule about being a teacher is flexibility." There was no apology for the lack of communication or anything saying he understood why it was frustrating for us as teachers.

    So I went in this morning to talk to him about it and as soon as I walked in the room, he tensed up and got defensive (so I'm sure he heard that we weren't happy). I was nice, but let him know that I would have really appreciated a heads up so I didn't end up looking like an idiot in front of my class. His response: "You need to realize that teaching is about going with the flow and being flexible. It happened to me as a teacher and it's no big deal. It's done and over with. Realize that these things happen and there's nothing you can do about it."

    Unbelievable. I want to punch my P in the face right now and it's taking everything I have to paste a smile on my face and "move on".

    Would you be irritated if this happened to you? Or is my P right - this is just a part of teaching and I have to get over it?
     
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  3. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2010

    I can see where you would be upset. I think he could have at least emailed all the teachers to give you a heads up...that is being flexible. With only 5 mins left of the day that must have been really fun.

    That's fine about exectutive decisions, but even most decisions people have a little hint as to what is coming.

    I guess the next time he leads a assembly, I would have something of some sort of review sheet or something so if he cancels it, it won't be a big deal.
     
  4. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    OMG! I've never heard of principal doing such a stupid thing!!! He was WAAAAY out of line!

    I don't know why he said what he did - maybe it was spur of the moment and he just slipped up. Or, maybe he was trying to be the "cool guy" to the students.

    But, he messed up BIG time. I think he realized later that he messed up and that's why he made up his PITIFUL excuse and sent it out in an email.

    Instead of admitting he made a mistake, this jerk is trying to push the blame onto the teachers by saying they should be "flexible." WEAK!!!
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2010

    Wow. I think it's crazy. Homework should have a purpose, so it's not arbitrarily assigned. If it's assigned for a reason, then just canceling it on a whim is extremely rude to teachers. What if major projects were due the next day?? Unbelievable.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think he did the wrong thing. Unfortunately, I also think that you're stuck with the clean-up from his mess of an executive decision. :(
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I would have been very irritated, but I would've told the kids that the homework assigned for that night would be due in two days instead of the following day. I would do this even if I didn't have the kids until the next day.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's what I would have done as well.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    :yeahthat:

    And I also agree he's in the wrong. He needs to apologize instead of lashing out because he caught flack for a bad decision.
     
  10. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    I don't agree with what he did persay, but I kind of agree with how he did it. The kids behaved and he rewarded them. If he told the teachers, you wouldn't have assigned any homework. What if they misbehaved? How is that a reward? I would be annoyed, but I wouldn't say anything, because he sounds very my way or the high way. He doesn't seem like he will change. I would be annoyed, but let it go. It's a one time thing.
     
  11. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I don't agree that homework should be used as a reward or punishment. If homework that is assigned is so frivolous that it can be done away with on a whim, then it shouldn't be assigned at all. If the principal really thinks his teachers are assigning such busy work each night that he could simply declare it null and void on a whim, he should probably hold an in service about what effective homework and assessment looks like.
     
  12. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Exactly. I agree.
     
  13. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    I can imagine that the mess of that announcement followed the students home. I wonder how many parents believed that the principal actually canceled homework?

    I completely agree with that Jem said on both of her points. However, a little spontaneity never hurt anyone.

    If nothing else, it'll be a day students will remember!
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    The only problem is that his response of "Realize these things happen and there's nothing you can do about it" sounds like the guy is on a power trip now that he is the P and I'm afraid the teachers there can expect more executive decisions that require them to be flexible. Since he claims it was done to him as a teach, it seems he is looking for some "payback" by putting his own teachers through the same thing.

    Is T4E overreacting? Not at all (IMO, of course), but I guess this is just part of the job sometimes. It isn't fair, but I'm not sure what recourse the teachers might have if the P is determined to go around showing off his executive decision muscles. :unsure:
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess I've been teaching for so long and experienced so many crazy things that it wouldn't have bothered me very much. I would have just told the kids to enjoy their free night and please do the homework the next night.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 21, 2010

    The Bishop has been known to do that when he visits, and it doesn't always earn him any friends on the faculty.

    But there's nothing you can do but grin and bear it. Big picture: it's one night's homework out of 180.

    Smile, tell the kids to enjoy their night off, and revamp your plans to include more drill tomorrow. Life goes on.
     
  17. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    Jan 21, 2010

    Thanks, everyone, for your replies. It's a relief to know I'm not the only one who would be irritated by this.

    And I did end up telling my students that whatever homework that was assigned that night had to be done the next night. Which meant many of them had double the homework today.

    You guys are right on - he's a total control freak and likes to make himself look good when he can, probably because he gets so many complaints from parents.

    Anyway, it's done and over with and I'm proud of myself for speaking up, even if nothing came from it. I needed him to at least know how I felt about it.

    Oh, and in the newsletter that was sent home with the kids today, he made sure to put in there that because the kids were so well behaved at the assembly, he told them no homework for that night. Talk about tooting your own horn.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'd ask if that meant that I didn't have to do any work at home either that night! :p
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    It's very inconsiderate, in my opinion. And what makes it worse is that he did it without giving the teachers the curteousy of a heads up. And it undermines the authority of the teachers. It sounds like he's on a power trip.
     
  20. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2010

    Your response to the students, "Homwork/tests tomorrow are just postponed one day. We will resume the work requirements the following day."

    Yes, the principal should have notified the the teachers prior to making that decision.

    The students should not be rewarded for behaving during an assembly. Behaving is what they are supposed to do.

    His comment about not being able to do anything about it goes contrary to what we are teaching the students. I remind them all the time that they have the capacity and sometimes the duty to prevent or change things.
     
  21. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    That was out of line in the way he did it. Personally, I would have turned to my class and said "Nope, we still have homework. Sorry." I give homework for a reason, he has no idea what I am doing, when we are testing, and what is due when.

    I do agree that teachers need to be flexible and I am in many ways. If there was something unforeseen, then sure I can adapt. But I'm not going to just be flexible because he wants kids to think he's cool.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nope.

    I would not undermine the authority of another adult, particularly my boss, regardless of how badly I wanted to do so.
     
  23. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I believe what your P. did was undermine your professionalism as an educator. Announcing, without notice to the teachers, that there is "no homework" was childish and in poor taste. From my point of view, he was trying to gain "brownie points' from the students. I also believe he was trying to throw around his authority, from what I read into his response to you the next day. What a shame.
    I wonder if your P. is related to mine...
     
  24. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    I agree.

    Also consider that it is better for everybody (students included) that you not harbor resentment or negative feelings about this towards the principal. Because that kind of thing can start a downward spiral in your feelings toward administration that may snowball as you look for more and more power trip and egotistical actions on the p's part. And of course if you look for them, you will find them, causing morale to sink lower.

    Better for your outlook, and ultimately better for your students who are directly affected by your outlook, if you were to chalk this up to a one time thing, something done with good intentions but maybe not enough forethought, and let it go.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Wow. I am so angry. This is just...ridiculous. Wow. Stupid on so many levels. I appreciate my principal a little more with this information. I cannot imagine. I don't know what else to say.

    Again, wow.
     
  26. ACardAttack

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    That makes me mad hearing about that, just awful, way out of line....he must be trying to prove something to someoen
     
  27. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Our P has at times given a free dress day (within reason) and all have enjoyed that. Do your students wear uniforms? If so, you could be 'helpful' and try to suggest to your P he can wield his power that way.

    Canceling homework sets a very bad tone, as others have mentioned, and trivializes learning.
     
  28. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I'd be upset, just consider your P having made a blatant mistake. I bet he never does it again at your school.
     
  29. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I'm so sorry that you work with a principal like that. His canceling of homework shows his disconnect to the classroom environment. That's a shame. He really needs to get back in the classroom and remember what it is we do all day. Terribly unprofessional.
     
  30. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    If I were the P, I would have emailed the teachers at least a few days ahead that I was going to do this no HW thing. There's a right way & a wrong way to do everything, but to me personally, this situation isn't a serious issue to be livid or even mad about. I'd say to myself, "Fine w/ me if that's what he wants to do." I'd just make sure any HW I told them is due the day after the original due date instead, no biggie.

    Now, if the P made a change that involved the teachers to have to do some kind of extra work or go out of their way to do something at the last minute, that's different. To me, there's much more to worry about than having HW due the day after tomorrow rather than tomorrow.
     
  31. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'd say P got carried away and is too embarrassed to admit he blundered. It sounds like it became a school version of, "What the heck, drinks are on ME!", followed by a stampede to the bar. Most likely, he shan't be doing that again!
     
  32. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    I agree. I think that gives mixed messages to the students. You have to obey me and respect me, but I can do as I want. :rolleyes:
     
  33. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    But in my opinion, this is more than just homework being due a day later. I'm very surprised so many people feel they would be so tolerant of this principal's behavior.

    Someone mentioned telling their students that homework was still due. I probably would have done the same thing, but only because I would have sincerely assumed he was joking...because my principal would never do such a thing and it's so absurd.
     
  34. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess I am getting the impression that it is not an issue of being tolerant of the principal's behavior, but rather that he is the one in charge and we have to respect his decision (however STUPID it may be). Am I understanding the comments correctly or am I completely off base?
     
  35. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I'm surprised too.
    I'd be pretty pi$sed. That's why I dislike having any adult (e.g. assitants) in my classroom, as a sub. I just don't like having someone else (me as a sub) taking it upon themselves to do things that I'm perfectly capable of doing.

    That being said, I also strongly disagree with the poster who said she might have disregarded the P's decree.

    And it's not because I have any fear of him being my boss or whatever. It just sets a bad vibe in the school, when people take on that kind of mindset. No one (or at least I don't) likes a school environment where everyone holes up in their room, isn't courteous, outgoing, etc.

    Just be the bigger person, and move ahead.
     

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