Sunday, November 26, 2006


I've been teaching for over 30 years and have never met an administrator that I liked or respected. I am sure there are good ones out there, just none have ever crossed my path.

My first AP was I woman I will call RSquared. She is one of the meanest people I have ever met. Custodians put dead birds in her letter box and someone took chains and smashed the side of her car while it was parked in the lot. Everyone, even the nicest people, people who never said a bad word about anyone, felt she deserved this treatment. She was abusive to teachers she did not like, so abusive in fact, that the principal would go to other teachers in the math department, to get a feeling for the teacher in question, before he took any actions agreeing with her. She had teachers make up long question sheets, which she claimed were going to be used for coverage if anyone was absent. In reality, she printed these questions and sold the books. No one got author or monetary credit. I got along with her until I told her I was taking a child care leave when my daughter was born. She then gave me 5 classes in 5 different rooms, making sure I had to pass through the student cafeteria to get from room to room. When I grieved, she claimed she had nothing to do with rooms, The programmer showed me a schedule that had me in one room until RSquared changed it.

Now, comes the principal that worked with her. I thought he was a good guy until I needed him to sign my release papers to come to the school I am now in. He refused due to a power struggle he was having with her. Even though he knew his school was too far from my home, and I could no longer travel there (having two babies at home) he refused to help me out.

The next administrator I came in contact with was in the special education department. I liked teaching kids with limited abilities. I really thought I could make some difference in their lives. He didn't agree. He constantly harrassed me for things he let other teachers do. His final act towards me was letting me go to teach in the math department (my license) but not before he bad mouthed me so much that they really did not want me either but had no choice since I had tenure and building seniority.

Next comes BSquared, the math AP who had no choice but to take me. He was only a temporary chairman, but he was on a power trip. He gave me five of the worst classes in the building. When he realized that he was not going to be doing the job a second term, he gave himself (as AP) one of the worst classes. He figured the new person coming in would get stuck (which she was). If for some reason, she didn't come and he got to keep the job, he planned on changing programs. OK was the woman who took his place. Her philosophy was to give herself and her friends all the best classes. She dressed quite provocatively and the kids called her a hooker. Her make-up was always smeared and her slip was always showing. She used tears to get her own way when people disagreed with her. Her husband was always around. He used to sit at department meetings and give dirty looks to anyone who was not paying attention to her.

OK went on to greener pastures and we now have a chairman who I am embarrassed to admit I get along great with. This doesn't mean I don't see what he does to other teachers. We had two teaching fellows in the department a few years ago. They were really bad teachers. He didn't have to keep them. But he didn't have to be abusive either. He constantly yelled at them and belittled them in front of students. He is carrying on this behavior now. He deliberately gave one teacher a super late schedule, even though he knows she prefers to be on early. He begins every meeting threatening U-ratings and insulting certain teachers daily. Everyone knows who his little nasty memos are addressed to, even though no one is mentioned by name. One guy in my department has a mentor from the UFT. Because of this, our chairman is not allowed to go near him until Dec 1. The poor guy is living in fear and dreading this day. He is terrified of being alone with the chair. I don't care if this guy is bad (which I don't think he is). No one deserves to be treated like this.

Principal Suit has filled up many of these entries on his own, so there is no need to discuss him here.

Hopefully, before I retire, I will meet good administrator.


NYC Educator said...

Great stories. I've been very fortunate, having had at least two very good administrators, and maybe three or four. I also had one very bad one, though, and I'm very glad I availed myself of the UFT Transfer Plan before we gave it away for less than nothing.

Pissedoffteacher said...

I think they are sad stories. I wish they weren't true.

NYC Educator said...

A lot of great stories are sad stories. We've all watched too much Disney in this country.

Anonymous said...

So far, I have met 3 great principals: 1 in Freeport when I was a teacher assistant while I was in graduate school.
a principal on Long Island who runs a great school, has wonderful leadership qualities and knows what is appropriate for young children
a principal in Brooklyn who even though it is her first year in the school, she is EXTREMELY EXPERIENCED and was a supervisor before she took over this school.