Writing my way through the school year!

there is an excellent, good, fair, or just plain horrible principal!  My present principal is preparing to move to another school.  He will be missed.  He was not without flaws, but that is true of us all.                                                         

I have been teaching for 20+ years, and have worked under quite a few  principals.  I don’t remember all their names, but things about them stand out in my mind. 

My very  first principal was about to retire, and he didn’t care what happened in the school. The students were undisciplined, and the teachers sat  in the front office every morning, butts on the desks, drinking coffee.  Then he retired, (Thank goodness!), and was  replaced by Mrs.D, now she was a principal!  She turned our school around, but after a few years, she was promoted, and replaced by, I don’t even remember her name. I was with her for a year before I moved to DE.  Before I left,  she approached me,  and asked, “Are you moving because of me?”  Okaaay.

I couldn’t get a job in DE, so  I spent two months in Baltimore with a psycho principal who insisted that I write everything I was going to say in my lesson plans. Huh? I explained that I had been teaching for 15 years,and she responded, “Well, you’re new here.” 

 I got a job in DE,and  worked in that school for the remainder of the year. Let’s just say her personal life interfered with her job. I got a transfer and ended up in my present school, under Joe B.  Lovely person, not such a great principal. The parents called him Joe. I will say no more. Skip through two or three principals to my present principal, Mr.L., who has been a joy to work with the last three years.

Does having a good principal make a teacher’s job easier, absolutely!

Mr. L  was an open door principal, his door was rarely closed.

 He made sure that we had all the tools we needed to integrate technology in our classrooms.

He always let us know that we were valued and appreciated.(And not only on Teacher Appreciation Day)

He loved the children, and they knew he loved them!

He was supportive, he always asked, he didn’t accuse.

He offered constructive criticism, and allowed us to offer our opinions.

He laughed.

He was flexible, most of the time.:)

He brought out the leader hiding inside me, and for that I am grateful.

I am going to get a new principal, and I’m hoping she works out.  I hope she has some of the same qualities as Mr.L.  But you know what?  Even if   she doesn’t, I will do what all teachers do, no matter what kind of principal they have.  I will  continue to teach to the best of my ability.  But it sure makes the job easier when you have a great principal!

“Good Principals: What Traits Do They Share?”

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Comments on: "Behind Every Great Teacher…" (3)

  1. Richard Cottingham said:

    At one point late in my career I had the misfortune of teaching in a school that had 5 different principals in six years. While it was difficult to continue teaching while so much change was taking place I did learn a few things about principals.

    The main thing I observed was that principals coming into a school from elsewhere (as opposed to being promoted from the faculty) tend to bring an agenda with them. They seem uninterested in learning from the faculty they will be supervising. Often they do a poor job of selling their agenda to the faculty and then see those who fail to embrace it as uncooperative, insubordinate, or unprofessional.

    It would make sense for a principal to work to elicit the enthusiastic support and cooperation of the existing faculty. I rarely saw this take place.

    • Hi Richard, that is a major worry. So far, I have been fortunate that each principal that has come into our school, has continued to value what we have to offer as a staff. This includes the one that is leaving. He said he spoke to the incoming principal and let her know how we should be appreciated. I only hope she listens!

    • Well said! Not much more to offer, but that if anyone out there is planning on moving into administration, please remember (daily) what you went through as a teacher, and never lose sight of the fact that most of us (teachers) are doing what we do because we truly feel like it is a calling of some sort. Support us, and that support will be felt by everyone in the building with much appreciation.

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