Teachers not following directions

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Brendan, Jun 15, 2011.

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  1. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I sit here today reading an e-mail from an irate parent. This parent has every right to be irate. Her daughter has had a tough year. She's had personal issues that have kept her out of school and a death in the family. These are issues that the school are aware of. This poor girl's Biology teacher has refused to allow her to makeup work, even though I gave explicit directions to each of their teachers to allow makeup work without penalty even if past the deadline. When teachers don't follow simple instructions it makes me look like I can't do my job. This teacher and I will be meeting first thing tomorrow. Errrgh.
     
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  3. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Wow that is not good. I'm really sorry, good luck with the meeting.
     
  4. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    As my principal has always said, "If you don't do what is asked of you, I will not support you when your called on the it."
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I'm sorry this is happening, and you are absolutly right. When teachers in the school will not follow the directions of the administration, it makes you look as if you are not able to do your job....

    I guess this teacher has a different philosophy than you. Maybe she feels rules are rules regardless of circumstance.

    I'd hate to be her tomorrow - or him.

    Hope all goes well.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I'm glad that you aren't just letting this go. You asked this teacher to do something and without speaking with you, the teacher ignored it. Many administrators would just let this go, but I'm so glad you aren't.
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    If a student is involved I never let things like this go. Especially when the teacher is saying that the student will fail because of missed work.
     
  8. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Hopefully it's just an overlook on the teacher's part and he/ she forgot or doesn't realize that he/ she is supposed to take work from the student. ;) However I am always surprised when I see a teacher directly disobey a rule/ order from a principal. I think some teachers think they can get away with it or bully the principal. I'm glad you're on top of it and standing up for the student. :D
     
  9. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I've accidentally not given extra time to students who have that for testing--- a parent or a guidance counselor will mention that the child should get the extra time and then I'll arrange for the child to get that extra time. I always appreciate a reminder if something is not done correctly and hopefully the teacher who you will be meeting with just misunderstood or forgot about your directions.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't understand the mindset of people who confuse the title "teacher" with "supreme authority on all things."

    Good for you for defending the kid.

    Now, of course, if you override the grade, you'll be the boogeyman, right???

    And, for the record, I forget a lot of things. But NOT direct instructions from administration. I'm forgetful, not crazy!
     
  11. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Brendan,

    Have you talked with the Biology teacher and know for a fact he refuses to allow make-up or is he guilty based on input from parent only? It might be of some service to glean info from all parties involved before rushing to judgment.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I have a copy of a forwarded email.
     
  13. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    As a parent it saddens me that some teachers do not understand the unique situations that come up in life. As a teacher, I want to say... "Give me a break. Did you not get the memo friend?!"
     
  14. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    I'm not an administrator, nor do I aspire to be one. I am glad to see you are following up. If this teacher is just that stubborn, he/she needs to be woken up. Not all administrators will face up to a teacher who is headstrong or who believes in doing first and asking permission later. Hopefully, though, it was just an oversight on his/her part.
     
  15. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I had a student's parent die this past October. I can't fathom penalizing her on late work. Heartless.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    One of my sophomore boys came into my final exam teary eyed yesterday. He called me over, and said someone had stolen his calculator.

    Normally, I would joke with the kid, then offer mine. But for some reason, thank God, I just calmed him down and told him I would be back in a minute with mine.

    On my way to the faculty room I met the director of guidance, who was looking for me. It seems the boy had gone home the day before to find police cars in front of his house-- his mom had attempted suicide.

    Kind of a lot for a 16 year old to have to handle.

    I told the guidance director that, unless the kid aced the test, I wouldn't count it at all. As it turns out, the exam was a good 3 hour escape for him, and actually brought up his average.

    But sometimes life DOES get in the way of school. I'm all about the content, but we can never lose sight of the fact that these are KIDS we're dealing with.

    Oh, and that's aside from the whole insubordination issue.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    How sad, Alice.

    Plenty of people I work with completely ignore our principal in particular. For example, there is a document we are submit four times per year...I'll spare the details. Point is, I know many people who never do. One person hasn't for two years. And not a word is said.
     
  18. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    This sort of thing frustrates me too... especially in my building, in that a good number of faculty have an "us VS them" mindset toward administration. I end up seeing much of it because I also work as a technology coordinator in the district, and so spend a lot of time working with the various principals. Some of the teachers that are tenured intentionally ignore administrative directives that they don't agree with, arguing "nothing can be done to me about it".

    One teacher refuses to use the common assessments their department agreed upon. Another refuses to use the same grading scale (total points) that our building is supposed to use. Yet another refuses to post lesson plans online because she says "I've been doing this long enough, I don't need to prove I have lessons". I could go on like this....
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I have a hard time understanding the mind set that you don't have to do what your boss says. I've had some crappy bosses over the years, but at the end of the day, they are the boss and I have to do what they say, whether I like it or not.

    I might disagree with some policies or decisions my P makes and, if I disagree strongly enough, I might voice those complaints to him/her directly. But I would be respectful in my disagreement and, once the discussion was done, I would still have to follow the P's directions and or decision.

    I mentioned before the incident of two students coming to school late on a test date because they went to a midnight movie and didn't get home till 3am. I said then (and still stand by) that was NOT a valid excuse for being late to class. That doesn't mean *I* could decide their tardiness was not officially "Excused" - that is an administrative decision. It does mean I could (and did) tell them that going to a movie is not an acceptable excuse for missing half of my class on a test date and all they've done is hurt themselves because they now only have 30 minutes to complete the test while their classmates had 50. I will NOT give them extra time to complete the test. They made a choice and they need to accept the consequences.

    Of course, if they complained to the P and the P told me I had to give them the extra time, I will do it. But this is an issue I will discuss with the P in private afterwards and voice my disagreement with the decision, since I feel it sends the message that a movie is more important than my class or a test on a core subject.

    Now, I have to qualify that by saying I have a P that I feel would allow me to voice that displeasure and the reason for it without becoming defensive or feeling threatened or disrespected by it. I realize there are some P's, though, where such an action would be a veritable death sentence for my job there and possibly my career. So you have to judge your own situation and decide if that is a battle worth fighting.
     
  20. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I am onboard with the us vs. them idea when it comes to admin. For the most part admin. is see as the entity that is out to watch what teachers say and do, and also to tell us what we are not doing good enough, or new things that we have to do.
    None of those things are happy things to me.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    No, just supreme authority on all things that happen in My classroom. Thats not so much to ask for.
    I once heard a principal state that teachers are suppose to be the CEO's of their classroom. If that is the case, then let us be such.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I disagree. I am an employee. My job is to teach. My principal's job, and that of the AP, is to oversee what happens in the classrooms, including mine.

    The idea that we are supreme authorities is part of the reason why there are far too many really bad teachers out there-- they feel they have no one to answer to.
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    There is also a problem with teachers viewing the classroom as THEIR room, so THEY have complete say over what happens in there. They forget that it really is NOT "their room", it is the school's room and you are being allowed to use it - much like an apartment. You might be able to decorate your apartment as you see fit and have friends over for parties, etc, but the landlord is the one that OWNS the room and has the right to impose certain restrictions on what you can and cannot do in the his building. If you disobey the landlord's rules, they can kick you out. If you disobey the P's rules, (s)he can do the same.

    It's unfortunate that you and your teammates view your admin as an "us vs them" situation. I view my admin as someone that I can go to with questions or concerns, but also someone who has the final say in what I can and cannot do as a teacher in their school.

    I do feel teachers should have a good amount of authority and flexibility in their room and this is actually encouraged in our school. The admin gives us the authority to deal with most discipline problems ourselves as we see fit. Only the most serious incidents (student fights, attack on a teacher, etc) need to be taken to the office.
     
  24. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I don't feel that its an us vs them situation at all. I have great people in the higher up positions, and people I don't quite care for, but I've never felt like they were there to tell me whats not good enough or demand new things. When new things need to be implemented we all work together to figure out the best way to make it work.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have never once had an administrator override me on anything. It's definitely not "us vs them" in the 2 schools I've worked in.

    That said, I think that even if it were, Brendan's original directive was not only fair, but in the best interests of a child in a very difficult situation. There's no excuse for the teacher having not followed it.
     
  26. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Having done it for so long I can see both sides. Our teachers are now under an avalanche of new directives, policy changes for everything related to school, different assessment tools each year but mostly more paperwork. I told someone yesterday that in the future teachers will spend 90% of their time documenting everything. It is insane.

    The old saying was "the boss may not always be right but he/she is always the boss." I must admit I dont always do what my boss says but he is autocratic and says no by reflex.
     
  27. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Wowsers! There are some pots calling kettles black.
     
  28. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    It is sad but in most schools this is how it is. Teachers vs. administration. I've worked with administrators who would constantly talk bad about teachers. I can see how teachers may feel this way.

    On the other hand, I know that regardless of how I may feel or think I have to follow the rules that my boss sets. We don't have complete autonomy.
     
  29. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Hmmm....I am afraid I am one who thinks it is "my" classroom but I work extremely hard to provide service for my kids and families which is far above the norm that is expected by my principal. I feel a total responsibility to provide the best educational environment I am capable of, and therefore feel "ownership" of the room. The principal has only been in my room once in 2 1/2 years, so I guess she trusts me, but I don't trust her to know what is going on or what is best for my families. Do I follow most directives - yup! Do I fight the stupid ones - yup! Have I ignored some - yup! But NEVER one that is important or would adversely affect a child, and the ones I fight against are the ones which do adversely affect children. Call me bad....I can live with it.
     
  30. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Please keep us in the loop about this teacher meeting. I'm interested to know why the teacher felt your directions should be overridden. How sad that your final weeks at this school are spent going head-to-head with a colleague.
     
  31. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I agree... And that really is completely heartless.:dizzy:
     
  32. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    In the end it comes down to the fact that I do not understand this philosophy.

    When it comes to big things, that the boss will absolutely know what you do or do not do, yes. When it comes to things that you are told to do, but in the end, chances are the boss will not know if you really did or not, find your own way.
    I also have no problem rocking the boat a little bit and if I can rock the boat with nobody really knowing about it, all the better.
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    What is your opinion on the specific case in this thread?
     
  34. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    That teacher comes off as arrogant and cold-hearted.
     
  35. funmath

    funmath Rookie

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    I am wondering reasons of this teacher for not letting the student making up the work to pass the class.
     
  36. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Does this transfer to your classroom? Is it okay if you tell the students to do something and they choose not to?
     
  37. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    It might not be happy but it's completely necessary to ensure that everyone is doing what they need to. I am a teacher and an administrator. I don't consider them to be my enemy, but my colleagues. Everyone has a boss and we need to consider that.
     
  38. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I told my P, before he hired me that I needed a P that I could voice my opinion to & even disagree with, without fear that it would be held against me. In the same breath, I also said that even if I disagreed with a directive, I would follow it.

    I've had P's that if you disagreed with them you were gone by the end of the year, if not sooner. Didn't matter if you did what they wanted, but they did not want to hear the other side.

    I've had P's that I could disagree with and they did not hold it against me. I still did what they wanted but I was secure in being able to voice my opinion.

    I'm much happier when I know that I can voice a concern or an objection knowing that my feelings will be respected. I also respect those who are willing to hear a dissenting opinion without being upset by it.
     
  39. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    You can disagree with me that's fine. You can even argue with me in my office for something you believe in. However, once I give a directive I need staff to follow it. It makes me look like I cannot do my job if I have staff doing exactly the opposite of what they are told.
     
  40. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Then you would be someone that I could work for!
     
  41. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2011

    So what happened today when you spoke with the teacher?
     
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