How do you know which you're dealing with? I am struggling right now and don't have enough experience to tell. This is my second year teaching. It took me a year to find a position, and I thought I had landed into the dream situation when I finally did get an offer. The P at my school was overworked, no doubt about that. But she was also very supportive of her staff and was very student oriented. There was a clear sense of community. I had a tough class last year, but it was acknowledged and I ended up holding my own against my three grade level team-mates as far as test scores went. I had the second highest scores out of four grade level team members. And the teacher who "beat me" is a third generation teacher who came out of the womb knowing how to do this. I had high hopes for this year. There were changes announced last spring. The P left for a position in the district office. The new district superintendent restructured the grade level teams, parring down grade level teams to three teachers in each building. Some of us lost our positions at my school due to this. I was retained and was very grateful. We are now four and a half weeks into the school year and everything feels just horrible. The new P is much, much different from the old P. I have already been called into the office to discuss an "issue". This new P brought a paraprofessional with her from her old school (where she was a teacher; she hasn't been an administrator for five years and even then she was an assistant P and not the one and only administrator in a building). This para had complained to her that I was unnecessarily harsh with a couple of students when I picked them up at the end of that specials class. The P ended this "discussion" by saying that "although my job was safe", she was going to put a note in my file that there had been concerns. I have NEVER had my interactions with students or co-workers called into question. I am older than your average second year teacher. I have worked with children for thirty plus years and this was a first. The transition at school has been difficult. The P has made some changes that impacted everyone. She is very paper work driven and does not even attempt to interact with students. And she has piled on the extra work. She mandated that every teacher call and talk to every family in our class and share one positive thing about their student. Okay, I get that and it is something that I did anyway. But since she got a positive response at the district for doing that, she decided that more is even better and it is now mandatory we do it every month. It is stuff like this that piles up and is extending our work day well into the evening. She approved the PTA requiring every teacher participate in a Fall Carnival. We have to do it. We have to create and man a game booth. Each of us. And stock it with prizes. Out of our pocket. She said that all grade level teams have to teach the same things in the same way. There was some disagreement in my grade level team about how to implement small group instruction materials from the new Language Arts curriculum. We have a forty-five minute reading intervention block and have used small group instruction materials for this purpose. This is the case for the entire building and much of the district. But one person on my team had been working with the very low group during intervention, the small group materials didn't apply to her intervention planning and she had been using them during her own class LA block and wanted to continue. The P came in and told us that we needed to reach a consensus and that she was NOT going to dictate what we were going to do. The Title One teacher agreed with me and the other team member that the small group instruction was most beneficial during intervention. The dissenting team member refused to agree and went to the P and complained and we were told yesterday that since we didn't have enough time to implement small group instruction into our own class LA block, the P was "taking away" our first grade recess in the morning, and taking away 15 minutes from our intervention block and adding it to our class block. Oh, and we are now required to provide some kind of "game" break during instruction so the students won't feel cheated out of their recess. And somehow still find time to implement small group instruction into our class LA block, because she did dictate that we will do it that way. And my dear, sweet team-mate who refused to hear what we were all saying just sat there and looked on. I guess it pays to be a suck up. I cried all the way home yesterday. The building feels like we are on some kind of forced death march. The P has stated that her mandate has been to "improve the school however she sees fit". We weren't even aware that we were in trouble. Suddenly student mastery on assessments is 80% and above. Last year mastery was considered 100%. We aren't improving our teaching, we are just lowering the bar. Looks good on paper, but it feels like cheating. Our PDs are now weekly dumping sessions where we are told what we will be going and any kind of questioning gets us these long diatribes on how messed up the school was and how this is what the new normal looks like because she is there to improve the test scores. Most of the teachers in the building are walking around shell shocked. There are a few that are suddenly being included and who adore the new P. My new mentor is a nice lady, but she is a horrible mentor. She is the worst gossip in the building, and I don't feel like I can go to her and even simply vent without it being spread all over by dinner time. Our social committee was disbanded, and we are now supposed to just volunteer for a social event if we feel like it. And yet we got lectured like little kids about how despite the P being told about the strong sense of community at the school. she just wasn't seeing more than little pockets here and there in the building. I don't know how to handle this. I can't tell if it is a toxic building now, or if we are all just stressed by these changes. How can I adjust to these changes? I never call in sick and yet here I am, on my second sick day since school started.