Boss Type: Mrs. Better Than Thou
We have all had some inspiring teachers and some terrible ones. But, have you ever stopped to think about great teachers that are suffering in silence from terrible principles? This week’s submitted story is from one of those teachers. Sally writes to us about her first boss – the school principal:
I will never forget my first boss as a new teacher. When I was hired at her school, I wasn’t initially sure whether to take the position because I knew nothing about her school — I was simply referred by another principal. She flipped out when I showed hesitation upon her deciding to hire me, saying that “this has never happened to her before” and insinuating that I was contending that she was lying about the school’s salary chart.
After making the mistake of actually taking the job, we didn’t cross paths for a good month — until my initial pre-conference. During this conference, when I enthusiastically spoke about what I was going to be teaching, she remarked, “Wow, this is first time since September I’ve seen you act passionate about teaching!” Of course, like I said, she hadn’t seen me in a month…
At that point, I knew she’d established herself as my enemy and that my next job would be to mitigate the storm as best I could. She’d ignore me in the hallways whenever I said hello, turning her nose up at me. In every meeting, she attacked my managing style by assaulting aspects of my personality that were “not very feminine” and once even told me she’d “kick my ass” if I didn’t give my students more writing assignments due to a parent complaint, even though (she acknowledged) that I was giving them as many as the department head was distributing. She went as far as to sabotage a private meeting with my mentor by feeding her things she wanted to convey to me. She got my VP to threaten me to “beware of angry parents” the night before parents’ night — my FIRST parents’ night ever as a teacher.
I did have a few genuine difficulties managing the behaviour of students in some of my classes, but her response was to attack my character until I “shaped up.” This didn’t involve giving me PD, of course. Only a severe ass smack can make a good teacher, right?
I’m still in education. As they say, I’m “in it for the kids.”
Sally, I hope the kids appreciate it! To help you out, here’s an article about surviving a bad school administration. It is written for overseas teachers, but the lessons still apply!