Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Six Principals

Principal One never left her office on the first floor.  No one ever saw her do anything and, as new teachers, we all wondered what purpose, if any she served.  I was in the school with her 7 years and never spoke a single word to her, and maybe saw her 5 times in total.  She never even ran faculty conferences.

I only worked with Principal Two a few months.  He was a jovial guy who got along great with teachers.  In fact, he worked with the union rep to try to get rid of an awful AP.  The only contact I had with him was when I needed his permission to transfer and he refused to give it.  (I was caught in a political struggle between him and the awful AP.)

Principal Three was a very bright man who loved to hang out with tough boys from south Queens.  He walked the halls constantly and all the kids knew him well.  While I wasn't a fan, I respected his intelligence and cringed when he observed because I knew he knew a good lesson and a good teacher when he saw one.  One of the problems with him was the blatant favoritism he showed some of the staff.

Principal Four barely left her office.  I, along with others, believed she spent her days searching for another job.  She swore she would be there forever but as soon as she got an offer, she left.

Principal Five ran the school like he ran the summer camps he was in charge of.  He wanted all the classrooms set up in a horse shoe as that was the current trend.  He played annoying music between classes and loved the sound of his own voice over the PA system.  He loved being the center of attention so much he even made us sit through pictures of his summer vacation during a faculty conference.  He hated any kind of criticism and expected everyone to be subservient to him.

From reading this, you can imagine I didn't have any great expectations from Principal Six.  I figured he would either be another pompous ass full of ideas that were not educationally sound, someone who became an administrator because he didn't want to be in the classroom or someone who hid out in his office in front of the big screen television all day.

The first time I saw Principal Six he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and I believe I wrote he was so young he still had his mother's milk on his breath.  Imagine my embarrassment when he came up to me and asked if I was taking pictures for my blog.  He had been reading it for quite a while.  So now, he knew me and knew the disdain I had for administrators.  Over the years, I gradually started talking to him and came to respect some of his decisions.  Believe me, there were many I didn't agree with and I let him know.  I found he was someone I could talk to.  He even helped me deal with Mr. AP (although he did nothing lasting and I am still pissed at a grievance he denied.)

Principal Six has moved on to a new job.  He hopes to be able to make education better for kids today.  I wish him well, not only for him, but for the kids of NYC.


Chaz said...

Principal six was a real mensch and he gave me a chance to show that I was still that great teacher that the people at Tweed refused to see.

Too bad other principals refuse to do what's best for their students and hire "quality teachers" in the ATR pool.

I wish him well in his new position.

Pissed Off said...

Principal 6 was the only principal I ever worked for that I both liked and respected and could talk to without woorying about what I said.