1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Any teachers out there? (LONG but need advice)

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Brindlegirly, Nov 17, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Brindlegirly

    Brindlegirly Boxer Booster

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been teaching elementary for 7 years, and have had several principals (all at the same school). This year we got another new one, we are at a Title school, the toughest in our city. 90 some percent of our students are on free and reduced lunch. Anyway, I'm struggling with this new principal. She had a meeting Thursday with all the staff and I quote: "I don't support the teachers, I support the students, I'm not here for you, I'm here for the students." I think all of our mouths dropped to the floor....NEVER knew a principal would be like this. So now our students know that they won't have any consequences for their behaviors. They don't care if they get sent to the office. I teach 6th grade, and thankfully I looped with them and taught the same group as 5th graders. So I have great relationships with them and their families. I just worry about the new teachers, the ones that are trying to figure out how to manage their rooms, and have to do it on their own. Zero support, except from other teachers.
    We've been sending students that need to leave our rooms to fellow teachers. We are leaning on each other more than ever before. Last week's meeting she told us basically we haven't been doing our jobs because we failed five straight years our state testing, and now this week she basically told us we also don't know how to manage our classrooms. Both statements are FAR from the truth (well we did fail, but it's not from poor teaching. Our students have worries like if they will get dinner, living in shelters, motels, abuse, drugs, so testing is the last of their worries). We have an outstanding bunch of teachers that are committed to their students. She also told us that it's not her building, its ours. Ok lady, look out. That's all you had to say. But why did it take you until 2nd quarter to tell us?? Oh, probably to make us look bad.
    Anyone hear of Conscience Discipline? This is what she does and believes in. Whenever she shows us video clips, I feel like a worthless parent and teacher. But I command respect from my kids and students, and have high expectations. I believe that there are consequences for actions in life, so why sugar coat things at the elementary level?? You KNOW it's not ok to grab someone by the hoody and drag them around, yet you did it anyway, so you need a consequence!!!
    Ok, thanks for listening. Any advice to get me through until June would be great! I'm planning on asking for a transfer, closer to my home and where my kids will be starting school next year. Don't want to cause too many waves, since we have so much school year left! :)
     
  2. brodieboxer

    brodieboxer Completely Boxer Crazy

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    52
    I feel your pain, I really do! I retired June 1st after teaching middle school (mainly 6th grade, coincidentally!) for 34 years. I retired not b/c I hated teaching, but b/c of b.s. like you're enduring. There's no accountability for students or parents - only for teachers. I got thrown under the bus with parents more times than I care to count. When a parent complained about the fact that little Suzy was corrected in my class, it had to be my fault - right? I didn't feel as though I was teaching anymore - just jumping through hoops.

    Re discipline: My fellow teachers and I usually worked out an on team isolation system (we work on teams in middle school here), rather than sending a student to the principal. We even worked out a system of a cross grade isolation system (for ex: sending a 6th grader to an 8th grade classroom for isolation and vice-versa). Removing a student from his/her normal peers often helped to remove the "showing out for your friends" component. Office referrals were only for THE most severe cases.

    I am now subbing (I know - crazy, right?) to earn a little extra income, since retirement pay isn't so great. The upside is that I have no lesson plans to write, no meetings to attend, no parents to deal with, and best of all, no principal to deal with. I also know that if a class is especially bad, I don't have to deal with them everyday - lol! I get a lot of calls from teachers at my former school (and another middle school where I know several of the teachers) b/c they know I'm a good teacher and their rooms will still be in one piece when they return.

    I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with such a negative principal. She's throwing all of you under the bus. Does your school have an ACTIVE social worker and guidance department who make home visits to the children with severe home life problems? If not, it should. Without a support system, teachers can only do so much. At my former school, parents who said they couldn't attend a parent conference b/c of lack of transportation, were picked up by our SRO (school resource officer) as a service provided by the school. Some parents refused to get in the car, thinking that they were being arrested. Sigh...

    Hang in there! Keep telling yourself that you're a good teacher. Do all that you can to help care for and educate the children in your care - that's all you can do!

    Contact parents frequently. Try to make at least 2 positive parent phone contacts per week. Some parents will literally almost drop the phone when they get such a call. I taught the son of a former Braves baseball player several years ago, and the boy was quite a handful - a basically good kid, but a PITA in the classroom. I called his mom to brag about a good grade he made on a test, and the mom was shocked that I called for that. She kept asking me if that was all - was I sure there wasn't some problem I was calling about (some parents only hear the bad stuff and start to feel numb after awhile)? She was so thrilled that the boy wasn't in trouble, she couldn't wait to call her husband and let him know she'd received good news, for once - lol! Other times, I'd call just to let a parent know that I was proud that little Sarah had brought her homework in that day, or that she had helped someone pick up the books they'd dropped (sometimes it was HARD to find something positive to call about, trust me).
     
  3. Brindlegirly

    Brindlegirly Boxer Booster

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your advice! It's good to know that we are doing what you did at your school too! I don't send, never have, to the principal unless it's a fist fight or something! I will start calling parents more, sometimes we just get hung up on the negative and forget that they are good kids, just need to be told that! Maybe our scores will improve if kids are hearing more positive things at home and school....? Can't hurt!
    Thanks again!
    ...... You are crazy to sub, but there are a lot of benefits for sure!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page