Unsupportive Administration

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by hopefulnovice, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. hopefulnovice

    hopefulnovice Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2009

    It amazes me how administrators have no clue how to motivate new teachers. Instead of focusing on the positives and adding constructive critisism, they go into "suggestions for improvement" right away. New teachers work so incredibly hard, and any sort of recognition would boost moral and encourage a teacher to do more. Focusing on the negatives does not help at all.
    My first performance review report has a long list of the things I need to work on and one very vague positive comment...Am I that bad? Working 14 hours a day every day...glowing reviews from every student-teaching placement. I just don't get it. Perhaps this is a good turn of events for me, because now I am just plain angry. I don't blame myself any more. I am pretty sure I am a good FIRST YEAR teacher. My mistakes are usual mistakes of a newbee. My administration just does not have a clue.

    Anybody else experiencing the same lack of support?
     
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  3. deuceviper

    deuceviper Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2009

    I am with you! I feel the same way about the teachers on my team, who all cater to one teacher who is as mean to me as she can be. The administration is quite aware of her attitude and issues with past teachers even before I came, but no one has done anything about her attitude towards others, in my opinion because she is tenured. It is truly a shame and really makes me want to leave this particular school, even though I really love my kids and parents!
     
  4. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Jan 15, 2009

    :agreed:


    and I'm in my 2nd year. Just like some people should have never become teachers some people should never become admin!
     
  5. deuceviper

    deuceviper Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2009

    I'm just wondering, to go along with the original comment, what is the best way to handle the situation. My P is not going to address the situation enough to handle what is going on and I really haven't said anything to this particular teacher in months. I am just tired of being disrespected and left out of things simply because she has decided she doesn't like me. No one on my team wants to be the one in my shoes, so I am the outsider and end up doing things on my own because they don't want to be disliked as well.
    It's very frustrating! But I have attempted to remain positive and do focus on what I need to do in my classroom so that my children are successful.
     
  6. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jan 15, 2009

    Yes, hopefulnovice, I am having the same experience as you.
    This is my second year as an intern and my first year I had all positive reviews. Before that I had 8 years of great reviews as a Head Start teacher. After my first review at my new school site (2 weeks after I was transferred mid year) I was put on an improvement plan, and was really surprised until the other teachers said this principle does this to all the new teachers. I had 28 Kindergartners and he noticed the one student who was not paying attention. He gave me an unsatisfactory review because of this one student. Unbelievable. I thought it was a great lesson. I actually sat in disbelief and then said, "Do you have anything positive to say about my observation?" and only then did he named some positives.
    I get wonderful reviews from parents, university staff and other support people. I now believe it is him and not me. I will do the two things on the improvement plan (wait until everyone is paying attention each time you say anything) and (don't talk over the students talking) which I evidently did and he said my voice got louder. Hmmm. I may have been a little nervous.
    Anyway, I hear you and hang in there. Hopefully the support you are getting elsewhere will sustain you. :)
     
  7. K_luv30

    K_luv30 Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I'm so glad I read this. I'm in a similar situation as well and it's streeessssing me out! I can't even describe how I feel! Somewhat butt-hurt, I guess. I was recently put on an "improvement plan" because a DH popped into my classroom for the first time, and I was doing cooperative lesson I had never done before, and YIKES! Needless to say, I learned real quick the importance of clear and concise directions! But, like you, I've been working my booty off! I'm constantly reading, researching, brainstorming, reflecting, etc. etc. I realize classroom management is not my strong point, but I don't feel I'm "THAT BAD."

    To top it off, my team and I had a meeting with our adm. lead today to tell us how low our test scores were, (we do Benchmark Assessments every quarter to prepare us for the state test) and students scores effect our "reputation as a teacher." I also have to mention, my whole team consists of first year teachers! It's like the blind leading the blind! I don't want to sound as if I'm making excuses, because I'm sure the administration is getting the wrath from district and so forth.

    But it definitely makes me feel reclusive and tentative now. I was reading other posts which mentioned to not care as much, but I can't help it because I LOVE teaching; it's just the other 'stuff' that sucks! I hope this made sense, but I feel a little better writing about it though...
     
  8. hopefulnovice

    hopefulnovice Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2009

    Yes, other teachers...No one cares. I talked to many other teachers in my school, observed their lessons, shared my hurt with some of them, and not one of those I talked to ever stopped by my room to ask me how I am doing. Everybody is busy with their own agendas. My school is a small private school, so when I got hired I was under impression that I will get help, the staff will work together, I will become so much better at teaching...I was told by a staff member that they will "mold" me into the best teacher I can ever be. Instead, I was "thrown to the wolves." Fresh out of college, student-taught in middle school, they give me two subjects I never taught and expect me to succeed in high school with no adequate support, only criticism. Whatever. I am sorry I am not meeting their expectations of me. I am doing the best I can under the circumstances.
     
  9. JMG11

    JMG11 Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2009

    One positive out of all these negative experiences - at least we will treat new teachers better one day when we're "old pro's!"
     
  10. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Jan 20, 2009

    I lost my first classroom job (at a private school) this year right before Thanksgiving break. I strongly believe that it was in part due to the admin didn't know how or even *want* to support me even though they said they would as a new teacher. I'm glad I'm free to look elsewhere but I believed they would help me when I asked my questions. I told her how else am I supposed to learn if I don't ask for help? I believe in myself and I hope you believe in yourself to know the truth about you as a teacher! Take care.
     
  11. hopefulnovice

    hopefulnovice Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2009

    I am so sorry to hear you lost your first job! God, by the time Thanksgiving was around I was actually hoping they would ask me to leave...Did you apply for unemployment? As far as I know, if you are asked to leave the state has to pay 1/3 of your yearly salary + some kind of a health coverage for about six months...correct me if I'm wrong.

    Where are you looking? Would you go back to a private school? I wish you the best!
     
  12. pcfaithful

    pcfaithful Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2009

    Reply to hopefulnovice

    I have had the same experience with lack of supoort with Administration staff. They give you a good evaluations during the year, but make one mistake and their ready to tear you to pieces. Just keep your head held high and loving and supporting your kids in your classroom. Do let them stress you about any situation they throw. Just remember your there for your kids.

    Keep your head up,
    pcfaithful :thumb:
     
  13. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Jan 21, 2009

    I might consider a private school someday but I hated the at-will employment because I couldn't do anything to change their minds depsite the "you're doing great, we'll support you," blah blah blah lies! :eek:hmy:

    No, I didn't apply for unemployment because I was short the number of required days (maybe 10 or so short). I also knew I would still be okay since my husband still has his job but it still hurt big time to not have a job and contribute financially and buy what I want. Right now, I'm working as a PT Nanny and Tutor (as soon as I interview with some families - we're playing email tag!)
     
  14. hopefulnovice

    hopefulnovice Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2009

    How did they explain their decision to let you go? Did they give you warnings prior to asking you to leave?

    I have no idea if I'll be asked back next year. My reviews are mixed, and they basically told me during the formal performance review that as of now I am "not good enough" for the school...I'm not sure I'll be "good enough" in the second semester. Things I need to work on: consistency, relationship-building with the kids, not taking misbehavior personally, pacing my lesson preparation so that it does not overwhelm me...All the usual stuff for a new teacher, I guess.
     
  15. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jan 24, 2009

    yep - admin at my school are looking for where they can go next job wise and how it looks to the county admin. little support and it is better to lay low and not cause them problems (i.e. ask them to do their jobs).
     
  16. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jan 24, 2009

    Wow.

    Okay, well, I am of the opinion that no news is good news. I am not an approval seeker. I guess I am confident in my teaching in most areas but I know I have a lot of areas in which to improve. Everyone does.

    When I meet with my observers, (grade level, school mentor, P, and my ACP- yes that is 4 different people who observe me) I want to hear what I am doing wrong and I ask questions. I have learned a ton and I ask questions. If they tell me there was down time when I was handing out supplies, I ask them what I should have done. Not to be confrontational but to learn.

    I disagree that admin has to spend all this time going over the good things you did when you can read that on your own review.

    I guess I feel supported in ways where I get honest answers to how I can improve. I also feel supported by things like jean passes or leave early (30 minute) passes. For the most part, I have all the tools I need to teach and I just need to find a way to do it.
     
  17. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jan 24, 2009

    Don't leave your school because one teacher has a bad attitude, you might be placed in a school with two or more bad attitudes. You can't change someone's attitude, you can only control yours.

    Go to school every day with a smile on your face, make sure you say, "Good morning" to the mean teacher & everyone else, and have your own positive attitude, you're there for the kids. You make a difference in your classroom and don't worry about what anyone else does.

    I intentionally avoid those with negative attitudes, I'm always pleasant to them, but they'll drag you down.

    Since you're a new teacher develop a charismatic charm all your own by being pleasant and the person people want to be around.
     
  18. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jan 24, 2009


    Focus on the positive reviews you received from parents, staff, and other support people. Recognize what you do right and what works for your kids.

    Your P was in your room a short time, he's got his job to do and his own set of problems. Use whatever suggestions he's given to you, but take it as constructive criticism using it to make you a better teacher. Hard as it may be, always thank your P for any suggestions. You want him on your side when you have problems or issues. He may very well be a jerk, but he's your boss and is supposed to be the educational leader on your campus. If he places all new teachers on an improvement plan don't take it personally.
     
  19. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jan 27, 2009

    Thanks Hoot Owl. I met with my P yesterday again and even tho he focused on the negative again I asked and wrote down his ideas for better classroom management. I will take your advice! Thanks again.
     
  20. Aldgate

    Aldgate New Member

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    Jan 31, 2009

    unsupportive administration - I agree!

    I agree with everyone - I am so glad to hear I am not alone. I am in my 3rd year, and all of a sudden I am getting these negative reviews. I did really well my first two years, and suddenly I am hearing that I am doing a number of things wrong - things that I have done exactly the same for the past few years. I am almost certain I will not be asked back, but I am so very confused and hurt. My principal won't give me any eye contact when I try to talk to her, and then tells me that our relationship is awkward and I don't greet her. It's very frustrating.
     
  21. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 31, 2009

    Aldgate,
    Sometimes, administrators are correct in pointing out negatives, but I have to agree that sometimes they get it in their heads that someone isn't doin the job right, and go after them.

    My first year teaching, my principal constant knocked my lesson plans! Now mind you, I was the FIFTH teacher in this classroom, and I stared in January!!!!!!! (Yep, 4 other teachers left between Sept and December!!!) He'd go over my lesson plans with a fine tooth comb and make criticisms right and left. No matter what I did, it wasn't good enough. By the end of it, I was writing 40-page lesson plans just to include all of the things he thought should be in there!!! It was ridiculous. He wanted every single possible question I "might" ask during guided reading put into my lesson plans!!!! That alone was like 3 pages!!! He wanted two- to three- full pages for each subject, for each day!!! He wanted complete, step-by-step directions for every single thing! (In addition to the standard anticipatory set, yada yada, he wanted things like First, I will hand out the guided reading books, then I will ask each student to turn to page 2. Now, I will walk around and check to make sure each student is actually on page 2. If a student isn't on page 2, I will .... If a student asks, "What is a steam engine." I will reply "A steam engine is......... I mean, this was nuts!!!) It took me about 10 hours per week to write them, and then he'd come in, say they were all wrong, and the wanted them redone by 8am the next morning! So I'd stay up all night doing them again!

    Anyway, I looked around and realized my lesson plans were much better than most of the other teachers. Nobody was giving them a hard time. I realized he was picking on me -- I still have no concrete idea why, although many other teachers told me it was because I was the "wrong color." You see, I was one of the few caucasian teachers in this school, and it was rumoured that this principal felt that African-american students should only be taught by African-american teachers. I have no idea if that is true, it is just what my fellow (and also African-american) teachers kept telling me. They told me he was pretty successful at driving white teachers out of the school.

    Anyway, he kept telling me how great my grade level chair's lesson plans were (she was African-american), and I enlisted her help. She read though my lesson plans and thought they were fabulous, so then I really didn't know what to do.

    Until.... *yeah, you know I'm coming to the point of the story..*

    The grade level chair and I became friends...so one week, she and I wrote our lesson plans TOGETHER -- they were the exact same lesson plans word-for-word and I put them into my lesson plan binder and she put them in her lesson plan binder. She got an excellent rating on lesson plans that week. I was told that mine were the worst lesson plans the principal had ever seen and that my job was in jeopardy!!! (Yep! He didn't even notice they were identical!!!) My copy of the plans had 17 things he felt were "inadequate" on them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He wrote "These plans are a waste of paper!" across the top of mine. Hers received a glowing "Fabulolus" written on them!!!

    Well, anyway, after a visit to the district office with both copies of plans, he left me alone, and all of my future evaluations were done by somebody else. Mysteriously, the next year he was transfered to a different (and much less desireable) school. He didn't last there very long. I heard he was a principal in a nearby area, but just heard that he left there, too.

    So I guess my point is this -- sometimes you need to fix things, but sometimes, it is just someone's personal agenda, and you don't have a chance! Unfortunately, the same is true in many businesses. Do what you can to survive, and put your feelers out for a better situation.
     
  22. kfhsdramaqueen

    kfhsdramaqueen Rookie

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    Feb 5, 2009

    I had a similar situation. The school I was out three years ago, my first principal was wonderful, always gave me rave reviews, etc. My second year, we got a new principal and a new AP. My AP didn't like arts teachers (I teach English, Speech and Theatre), and she didn't like that when she came into my class, theatre specifically, all the students weren't sitting neatly in rows with their hands folded. She always thought that were not doing anything constructive. Between her and a completely insane parent who called almost daily to complain that I was teaching her child filth - I use the word "crap" in class one day about something, not even related to her, I think it was even a side conversation, and she told mom, who accused me of having a filthy mouth, this same parent got upset about my lack of discipline for my theatre class during the six weeks I was on maternity leave and wasn't in the classroom! There are some out there that just don't like certain people, and that's the way it is. Just do what you're supposed to, and hopefully it will all blow over.
     
  23. NeedMorAcronyms

    NeedMorAcronyms New Member

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    Feb 5, 2009

    i'm sorry to hear that there is a bully. sadly, every company, corporation, and school has that problem. in some schools it is worse than others because the administration allows it. at my school the principal is fair, but the school is so large that she has to delegate to her asst principals, and that is where it all breaks down.
    as the bearer of bad news, there is no easy answer. as the saying goes, when swimming with sharks you'll either become one or get eaten. my advice is to bear what you can until you get at least a couple of years of good evaluations. then work toward getting into another school. they aren't all the same, and you just need to find the one that you are a match with.

    every school has bullies, but not all bullies are sharks. if you're not shark-like, you're better off to make the change. right now there are hiring freezes all over the place, but persistance will pay off. one more thing: read your contract well, and if you have a union, join it. illicit their help if it comes down to your professional record. gotta keep it tight to keep your options open.
     
  24. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Feb 5, 2009

    Hmm...I'm having a hard time with administration too; today being a particularly difficult day. I mean, yes, I'm a new teacher, but am I really THAT bad? Do I really not do a SINGLE decent or good thing in the classroom? I too feel that administration is constantly picking on myself and the other new math teacher, constantly pointing out the things we need to improve on, without EVER mentioning a single right thing we're doing.

    Usually, I'm ok without positive reinforcement, but when I'm working so, so hard and my entire life revolves around school, I need at least some tiny indication that I'm not a total failure at this.

    We had a "math department" meeting today. Only, it was just myself and the other two Algebra 1 teachers. Because apparently we can't teach math. Never mind that most of the students taking Alg 1 in 9th grade are those who previously failed it or struggle with it. Never mind that we are forced to teach at this extremely fast pace (We have to finish the entire book by testing, a month before the end of the school year). Never mind that it is the first year for two if us. We just apparently suck at teaching and administration wants to require us to spend 3 1/2 hrs. A WEEK, for the REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR observing the Alg 2 teacher (who in their eyes is perfect). Really - I don't have enough time as it is! I'd understand occasional observations, but jeez! Am I really that sh*** of a teacher? I only teach ONE Alg 1 period!

    I had fantastic reviews during student teaching; I get lots of nice emails from parents about how I go out of my way to help their students, I have kids who don't want to join student council because it'd mean that they'd have to transfer out of my class that period and into another teachers...am I really that awful of a teacher?

    I had a formal observation today and taught a lesson/project that I've really excited about for a long time. I feel like everything went really well, but I'm so afraid to meet with my VP and go over it. I know I'm only going to hear the nitpicky things I did wrong. I'm not saying that there's nothing to improve on, as I'm sure there is, but I just so desperately need to know that I'm doing something ok. I have no confidence in myself anymore.

    I really like my kids, but I don't think I can survive the year anymore. If I can find a way out, I think I will. Maybe I'll offer tutoring to the students still though; I do like them and don't want to give up on them - I just don't want to do this to myself much longer.
     
  25. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2009


    it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get the attention of all 28 kindergarteners at the same time without a flashy fireworks show going on!! hahah Sometimes administrators and supervisors feel the need to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to pick on. It's kind of how they justify their jobs and big paychecks. just smile and agree to work on the suggestions and then keep doing the great job you're doing.
     

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