BLINDSIDED!

Definition: to attack critically where a person is vulnerable

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..Directors who blindside staff are far and away the most despicable sort of people to pollute the international teaching arena. If you’ve ever been blindsided by your school Director, you know just how devastating an attack can be. The modus operandi is to deliver the knock-out punch the day before a long school vacation, thus ruining their victims’ holiday while instilling a sense of insecurity, frustration and anger. Here’s some examples of blindsiding as excerpted from the ISR web site:

I had a sucker punch incident at a school in Thailand. The director left me feeling vulnerable and insecure, asking, “Are you happy here? You seem very negative sometimes. Many of the faculty don’t like you.”

I got a call into the office and was told several parents complained about ‘something’ I had done. The Director would not tell me what I was being accused of doing or which parents complained. He was very, very vague about what they were unhappy about. I left his office confused and angry.

It seems I’m not ‘warm and fuzzy’ enough for the parents at my school. My principal called me in and basically said it could be a potential deal breaker down the line if I don’t fix it.

He said, “I’m getting complaints about you from your colleagues who shall remain unnamed. They’re telling me you don’t make an effort to know them and cultivate their friendship. Some parents complain you are a bit distant.”

ISR wants to know why worthless comments of this type are sprung on teachers who, up to the moment of blindsiding, felt good about their contributions to the school. Do directors blindside teachers to keep them feeling insecure and thus make them yes-men to an inept administration? Is it an underhanded way to get teachers to work harder? Or is it merely an insecure “leader” keeping experienced educators off-balance so they won’t question an obvious inability to carry out their admin duties?

We all welcome the type of criticism from which we can grow as educators. Well intended criticism structured in a way that promotes positive growth is a good thing. But nebulous, vague, unfounded comments that cannot be qualified and intend only to wound, belittle and/or create anxiety have no place in any setting, least of all in an educational institution.

If you work for a blindsider, you have either experienced or witnessed the devastation that lies in their wake. What has your experience been with Directors who blindside educators? How did you deal with it? What advice do you have for teachers who have been blindsided?

32 Responses to BLINDSIDED!

  1. HICKS SINGH says:

    Last year I was BLINDSIDED. I did not know the exact name at the time, but I clearly saw the egregious mind games, dishonesty, petty accusations, warrantless attacks and the ultimate intent of intimidating me into becoming one of their mindless plantation robots. It was a school in UAE Dubai that has two campuses. One is Jumeriah and the other Meadows. It left me disturbed, yet eager to leave, so much so that I just left during my xmas break and never returned. I loved the students but the morale was bad at the school. I knew that I was good at my job, and ultimately they did not want me to leave, yet I am not one to back down nor be intimidated. I simply sent out a mass email to the owners, administrators, teachers, staff notifying them that I was not returning from my home country on the day I was suppose to report back; as well as the reasons. I minced no words and called them out for who and what they were choosing to become. I layed out the facts and evidence for which no one could deny as being inaccurate and made it known to staff that who are new or naieve how those devils operated. The letter served to appeal to the ownership as well. I further sent copies to the KHDA in that area.

    I could care less about reprisals as I have a doctorate degree and a spotless well respected work history in education. One sour monkey can not stop a show of success. I was not seeking to remain in overseas teaching education. I don’t believe in giving people that type of power over myself. People often forget that destiny and opportunities are shaped on the merits of your integrity as well. I never limit myself on unfounded mass fears that give these incompetent administrators more power than they deserve. I knew I worked in integrity and that was enough for me. I was well supported by the vast majority of my students when I was present and even after I left the school. Their farewell letters will be kept forever. It was well learned lesson. Not everything that glitters is gold in these schools when they seek you out. I was the third teacher to leave that position in a two year period. I am still baffled at the witch hunt tactics these administrators get away with, as well as the feared complicity from the other staff and owners which allow it. I just thank god, I am no longer living in that region nor working on that job dealing with those turtle heads of stupidity.

    Educators are in some ways at times under appreciated, where you can become exploited and abused. Situations as cited by this post should serve as wake up calls about your self worth; providing you the opportunity to take up for yourself, while identifying what is most important to you in your professional life. For me, it was to be respected, while working with competent professionals and being compensated and supported fairly. Yes, I picked my battles wisely, but then I am a bit more confident than others, and will allow myself to be punked by no one. I learned that I valued myself far to much to accept less. I proved it to myself and I proved it to those who may have underestimated me. I further suggest, that if one does decide to leave a school, especially in these situations, please make your concerns or grievances are made known to the education ministry, the regional governing body and even possibly the ownership– when your safely away. These people are not as powerful as they want you to believe. Actually, they are far more afraid of you than you are of them and this is why some of them are so cut throat in their actions. Regardless if the owners do anything or not, trust that a day will come when even they may tire of loosing good staff under the tyrannical management styles of incompetent administrators that they hired– due to their hands off management. Sooner or later, people have to face their own dysfunctional reality that they attempt to make functional for others. Experience is the best teachers and smoking building eventually catch on fire and burn to the ground if they are not put out.

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    • Blue says:

      Principal with an Iron Fist!
      I am in this position right now, being blindsided. I am on holiday now back in Canada but I feel tormented every time I go to bed and when I wake up by her accusations. I have never experienced anything like this in my life so it sent me into turmoil about what I did wrong, why is she doing this to me, feeling angry and depressed. I don’t know who to trust at my school so I don’t talk much about the situation. I don’t think I can stay. I am not sure what to do, just leave or be strong and deal with it. It is so crazy she told me not to ask questions just listen and follow her instructions. Almost everyday she calls me to her office and hits me with things like parents are not happy, complaints from other teachers, etc… But, when asked for details I get, “Don’t ask questions.” I have now stopped asking questions and just sit there feeling like I am about to breakdown but keeping it together. Was going to write a letter to the owners but not sure if that would help. I think the best thing is for me to leave then write a letter. I wish I could find a way to let parents know what is going on because I know I am a good teacher and that my students like me. I am often told by my students I have now and former students that I was am/was a good teacher. To be accused of things that are not true and be given no means of defending myself, is malicious. I have been with this school in Kuwait for three years, the former principal was a people person and appreciated her staff.
      How do I survive if I stay?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I would suggest that you question what it is that you fear or are afraid of that allows this administrator to make you feel uncomfortable? Is it important for you to have their validation? If you know that you operate and conduct your work in the spirt of integrity, why are you allowing her to keep you from speaking your truth? If you know that you are going to leave, then what keeps you from speaking your truth? If you did speak your truth, what is it that you fear your administrator would do to you? These questions are important because, what the administrator is doing is DISHNORING YOU, YOUR WORK, questioning your integrity, and inciting insecurity and then exploiting your insecurity to their advantage in an effort to control and intimidate you.

        People who engage in such egregious actions feel very afraid and threatened about their own skill level, communication with others and by teachers are doing well. They thrive in disarming and bullying others, in an effort to make them feel powerful.

        This experience with you as it was with me is about your having the opportunity to learn about your self worth, validate yourself and take up for yourself. Given your situation you describe, I can not work anywhere where I am not respected. Why would you allow someone to disrespect you in this manner? What you describe is not even professional, and yet you allow it. I suggest, if you really know or feel your administrator is not about to change and address you respectfully, then it would be best to leave. In the meantime, if you know your leaving, then speak your truth, question her and stand strong in your arguments that address the core issues. With me, I let my administrator know he was incorrect. What I noticed is that you will always get exploited and bullied until you stand up for yourself. I would leave, yet before leaving, you have choices: 1) you could put your administrator on blast by letting them know that they are incorrect and that you will not be bullied and purposely intimidated. 2) You could call a meeting with the owners, HR and Administrator to address your concerns, while having the specific evidence to back up your claims 3) you could quietly leave saying nothing 4) you could leave without notice while on break and when they expect you back, you could send an email from your WORK EMAIL ACCOUNT to the administrator, HR, owners and the rest of the faculty along with parents email addresses, and relay why you are terminating your employment and the specific actions your administrator committed that you felt were harassment. Essentially embarrassing them with the truth and bringing about transparency. It disarms them, allows others to know how they operate and it gives you back your credibility and self respect.

        Some people may be reluctant to do the latter because they feel their current school can block them from getting another job, but my self respect, dignity, integrity and sanity is more important. My faith allowed me to know I would find work elsewhere, and I did. I don’t believe in giving other people power over your future. Actually two of my administrators had been fired from other schools prior to coming to our school– so if they can find work still, so can you. Overall, my point is this, don’t allow people to walk over and disrespect you. If you don’t stop it, then who will?

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  2. That must hurt! says:

    Here’s not a wild guess:

    1. The school leader who does this is a puppet of the board or owner and scared for their own job allows their strings to be pulled (which is why there is no evidence except exaggeration and rumour in an attempt to justify the unjustifiable). Unprofessional, weak-willed and incompetent.

    2. The school leader has surrounded themselves with cronies or simply has no ability to “read” people and is being manipulated by a few individuals (one of whom may be a sociopath – see 3 below). Unprofessional, weak-willed, and incompetent.

    3. The school leader is a sociopath and cares nothing about you, your feelings or probably even the law. They want you removed because you are in their way. Unprofessional and nasty.

    4 The school leader is incompetent and is unable to cope with any complaints because there isn’t a grievance system and has most likely no ability to be open and honest with individuals to resolve issues. Eventually, the strain of underwhelming evidence makes them take the easiest path for them – removing the perceived obstacle rather than resolving issues. Unprofessional, weak-willed scared and incompetent

    5. A combination of all four above.

    The reason people are given shit news before breaks is simply to avoid the fallout. Someone has a miserable break while they scarper off on the next flight out on their vacation.

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    • HICKS SINGH says:

      Excellent assessment. I am just AMAZED how spot on many of these posts are as when I experienced being blindsided, I actually thought I was one of a few. Yet I see that this happens far more than many realize. Now I realize why these schools have such high turnovers and can not keep these good teachers. It was a somewhat hellish experience, yet I learned something beneficial as well.

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  3. NoMadMan says:

    Sadly there are many directors/principals who are all too aware that they wield more power or have the opportunity to abuse their staff in ways that would be unthinkable back home. Working in regions where there is little or no employee protection seems to enpower and embolden some. There is one Head in Vietnam who boasts that staff there have no union rights and have to do as he says. Many school owners and principals in areas that have slave traditions (the Middle East for one) seem to have no respect for staff – seeing them, as disposable commodities to be ‘bought’. Psychological bullying and unethical hiring and firing practices are the dark underbelly of international schools – there is little job security or professional respect in many schools (certainly outside areas where employment rights and laws are respected and enforced). From my experience there are many Heads and managers who hold positions they would never achieve or hang on to in their home countries and who practice methods that who see them fired or in court. Many international schools are simply businesses and shady one at that. Little wonder that these toxic pits have a high turnover of staff.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how things repeat again and again!!!
    Yes: I was told that my contract was not going to be renewed the last day of school before Christmas, after school, so no one could side me, including the union or any legal adviser.
    One of the reasons was that “Other teachers say…”.

    It is amazing how this situation repeats itself again and again, and the people who creates them are always up there. No matter how bad a Principal or a Head of School is, he/she will change from school to school in the same position without anyone controlling or questioning them…

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  5. Michelle says:

    Anonymous: December 12, 2015

    I’m beginning to loose faith in the international school community despite the fact that I know there are good schools out there with excellent administrators. Not everyone is good at what they do, but they are good at selling themselves in person and being cruel and demeaning behind closed doors. Lying is the first indicator and red flag. I got lied to four time before I started my first day. Changing your role after you start your contract is yet another red flag. Belittling you because your new in your role is also a very poor way to build good morale. I have about five pages of notes of things that are either unethical or just plain wrong. Ruining careers and bankrupting people for your own personal gain, is also plain wrong. What’s ironic, is that no one where I work likes who they work for and they all live in fear. What a way to run a school. Be careful when you interview with schools, and interview them back. If everything is different when you arrive, you can expect to go for a wild heartbreaking ride that will take some years off your life. Despite me asking a million questions, the lies still came and the damage is already done.

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  6. Isn’t it sad there are so many narcissists running international schools. Oh wait, there are many narcissists running American schools too. Must be something about the power of the job that attracts them. Keep in mind that what they want is fanboys and fangirls; they don’t care a whit about competence. I have one or two “leaders” like this where I am now. Yes, I have about 6 admins and several owners above me. I never claimed to understand the behind-the-scenes politics in schools and I still don’t–but I did study up on how to deal with bullies and narcissists! I also try to not take anything personal. That has helped some, but I fall in the ranks of helpers, caregivers, and people pleasers, for better or worse.

    We must thank the Universe if we get kicked out of a dysfunctional situation; something good has to come of it. 🙂 Hang in there, everyone!

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  7. 'duzy says:

    It’s happened to me before, just last year at a school in Shanghai. Horrible principal emailed me a terse list of things he’d “heard” that I’d done, all of which were either blatant falsehoods or gross exaggerations. He sent it on a Friday afternoon along with a demand that I report to his office on Monday morning to discuss all the accusations. I spent the weekend in a state of nervous collapse that soon turned to fury as I gathered evidence disproving the accusations and drafted a rebuttal. We wound up having a fight that went all the way to the school chancellor and he tried to have me fired, but was blocked. In a delicious twist of irony, HE was later fired because all the teachers hated him and I was neither the first nor the last teacher he blindsided and bullied during his first six months on the job. I feel deeply sorry for whoever is working for him now, because he got another position as a principal of another luckless Shanghai institution.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, I have had this blind-sided situation hit me and it still hurts though it happened a while ago. On the second day of the year for staff (the week before classes start), the NEW principal calls me in to say that ALL of the staff think I am arrogant, I need to dress better, and that there was anonymous complaint by a parent though I couldn’t be told for which grade, course, or nature of the complaint though it had to do with style). The principal assured me he was telling me this as my friend and knew I would work even harder to prove any doubters wrong. Well, though I already had a reputation for working hard and contributing on many fronts to the school, I worked even harder and enjoyed the year as much as possible. In the meantime, many colleagues had assured me that the arrogant and dress code criticisms were totally unfounded. After classes on the last day before the April break, he calls me into his office to tell me my contract is not being renewed for reasons related to what was brought up at the start of the year and that he didn’t have to give me any reason at all for non-renewal. Though it was a shock to me and the rest of the staff, I was powerless to have the decision changed. At that point, it was too late to get another job as hard as I tried and ended up moving back to my home country to become a substitute teacher which I still am as I try to support my wife and kids.

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  9. dcronyn says:

    Too bad that these stories are so common. I had a situation where the director of my school in Niamey, Niger, Heidi C, wanted us to completely re-write the school curriculum 3 days before school started. When I informed her of the impracticalities of this, she had a vendetta on me the rest of the year. I basically realized that the only way out was to tell her that I was not planning on re-applying the following year & would not be expecting a recommendation.

    Unfortunately, other teachers were intimidated by her and her equally pugnacious husband, making for a very difficult school situation. I agree with the psychological analysis above: cowtowing to higher ups, pissing on anybody lower down the ladder. She lunched every week with the chairperson of the board & gave jobs to the spouses of other ones. A truly Machiavellian person, not returning from what I hear, but somebody definitely not to work for, hire, etc….

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  10. omgarsenal says:

    I am a retired school psychologist and have been subjected to and seen similar intimidation over my 42 year career at home and abroad. Here is my take on the mindset of these bullies:

    1) Far too many administrators rely on intimidation and bullying behaviour towards their employees because they lack the people skills needed to develop collaboration and commitment in a humane way,

    2) The fact that these administrators rely on innuendo, unspecified and very generalized rumours, hearsay and often invented scenarios or outright lies indicates that they play fast and loose with the truth…a sign of serious psychopathology,

    3) Since this behaviour is classic bullying, the perpetrators are often feeble personalities, unsure and slightly paranoid about dealing with colleagues in an equitable and humane way since they believe the myth of sparing the rod spoils the child…and they see their employees as being big children,

    4) The other side of the coin are those administrators who are not afraid but rather enjoy dominating and threatening others. They are almost always servile to higher authority but despise their inferiors. This is fed by their disdain for democratic processes and the need to enroll their colleagues in the school vision ,preferring to herd them like cats.

    5) Many of these manipulators have failed in other roles (teaching, counseling, management) in their home countries and rely on the relative security of overseas schools to succeed. Their weak ethical and moral constraints permit them to abuse their power (both earned and derived from their position) and to do so with little or no recourse to an active and vibrant conscience.

    Some of the best ways to deal with these type of people, although not the only ways, are the following:

    a) Call them out on their lies and rumours – warn them that ANY false or demeaning accusations, where hard evidence is not provided, could lead to serious consequences for them.

    b) Politely request that you meet with your accusers and that a neutral witness be present. They will surely refuse this.

    c) If worse comes to worse, advise them that, regardless of the outcomes, you will take legal action for defamation of character and equivalent injuries in order to mitigate damages they have done to your career and personal reputation. Do seek legal advice beforehand.

    d) Mention that you have access to various media and internet options where any bullying can and will be reported if this behaviour continues.

    e) Other colleagues have surely been subjected to this bullying and finding out who is important. they may not collaborate out of fear or perceived self-interest but knowing that there are others is an important aid in your defense.

    f) IF you have Board, collegial, parental and/or student support, enroll them in a positive way by having them talk to your tormentor while lauding your qualities. If you have a mentor get them involved as well.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I had worked at a school for 4 yrs. and really liked it. I was never told if I would be receiving a new contract. At the end of the year one person left so I was given a contract at the last second. I was then told that I would have to give up my really nice apartment to a new kid fresh off the boat. I was going to be downgraded to a lesser apartment. I wound up getting another job in the states. I gave notice in July as I was walking out the door for the airport. I never used them for a reference so leaving like I did didn’t matter. Had I not been asked to give up my apartment I would have gladly remained at the school.

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  12. Richard says:

    Having worked at an Independent school form one year following 15 years in the State sector I was informed by my Head teacher that my contract was not going to be renewed nor that of my colleague in the English department who was hired at the same time. She was told to go back to the state sector where she would be ” better off”, I was told that a complaint had been lodged against me 3 months earlier. This was the first time I had heard about this. The two of us had just secured the best KS2 and KS3 SATS results for English in the schools history despite neither one of us ever having taught KS2 before. Our GCSE and A Level classes also scored the best results in the school’s history and despite a petition from parents, letters to the Head from parents and students we were both let go. The Head was Oxford educated, only ever taught at Oxford and this was his first headship, the school may have looked like an Oxbridge college but it was effectively a bog standard private school with a fancy uniform. Sometimes if your face does not fit or you did not go to the right university there is little hope against Heads with huge ego’s, an educational class chip and a narrow minded view of how a school should be run, Image is everything. Oh he was later removed after just 11 months in the job following a vote of no confidence from the staff and Board. I dread to think that he may still be in education in some capacity.
    Karma.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    This is such a timely post for me. I’ve been working now at a school in Saudi Arabia where the admin sucks and are a bunch of thugs. I suspect them of stealing parents’ money and putting children in classes that they are not ready for just so the coffer can be filled and the classes packed. I’ve had a couple of run-ins with my up line supervisor and I know it’s because I have years of experience on her few years and I immediately saw through her incompetence. So, rather than deal with me professionally, she started a campaign of “observations” to let me know that my teaching was not up to par. I just grin and bear it at this point. The school admin puts their heads in the sand and dismisses any substantive, justified, and fair criticism as uninformed. I suspect that this coming break may see a few of us being told our services are no longer needed. I’m prepared, especially now that I’ve read this post. Like many of you, I am certain my life will improve once I am gone.

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  14. Sadly, there are many people in leadership positions in education, as in other professional spheres, whose ability to self-promote has got them where they are. They are inadequate though and intimidated by subordinates who know more, are more experienced and are more intelligent. You can’t win with those people. Leave them for the colleagues who care less and are in it for the money. There are also good leaders leading good schools out there, just seek them out and move on.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The same thing happened to me. I was called to the Principal’s office and told that I was an outstanding teacher, exemplary leader and so my services wouldn’t be required the next year!!!!! Parents complained, students complained and there was an inquiry run by the owners. Principal was told to rehire me but by then he’d rushed out and signed contracts with new teachers so he argued there was no position for me. He got his when the person he’d hired to replace me didn’t turn up!!! I’ve moved on but it certainly was traumatic at the time and I doubt I’ll ever forgive him for causing such distress unnecessarily.

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  16. Content in Asia says:

    I sympathize with you all and can relate to your stories. An “agreement” forbids me from saying my name, the school or the nature of our “mutual agreement of termination of contract.” Apparently, I had the legal right to fight it but chose not to. I was always at school on time, always good to students, always attended everything, did all paper work and documentation. If I was a mediocre teacher on top of this then I would understand a non-renewal of contract. But I was asked to leave at a moment’s notice at the end of semester one. I had a day to finish report cards and remove my personal items. The director is a well known awful person and the principal her lackey. They did not like my opinions, clearly. They were in the middle of the CIS review. I was blamed for low ISA scores and students had willingly admitted to randomly pushing buttons. Disgusting. My life improved immeasurably the day I left there so I am thankful. But the bitterness is taking a while to ebb. Being unfairly (and deceptively) treated is disillusioning – especially in education. And frankly,the I.B. needs to do more to see that administrations carry out the Learner Profile.

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    • HICKS SINGH says:

      You are not alone. Something similar happened to me in an IB school in Dubai that has two campuses. It does take a while to get over, yet clearly, can not mix clean water with dirty water and consider it healthy. Glad to hear your in a more beneficial situation. Life does get better.

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  17. Ro says:

    This happened to me the day before summer break head of school with PYP coordinator asked me into office with a list of issues. Issues such as the fact that I am not friendly enough with staff which meant I should enter school each morning kiss everyone and ask all about there evening before and not be ready for students when they came to me. They didn’t like the way I spoke when asked for examples could not give any, a parent had complained about me same parent that complained about all, thought me culture was insensitive to the needs of others and the personal attack went on.
    These personal remarks where all put in writing with the following comments you will train the new teachers in your department as they have never done this before, you will do additional planning for them and implement the spelling program we have decided on. We will reassess you place in this school by November next year oh and remember this is Texas and we can fire you without notice and as you are on a visa you will be deported and she smiled as she said this.
    Let me just say this besides the fact that they could not find any fault with my teacher, the students development they even wanted to make sure I stayed in certain years to ensure the students developed their reading and writing skills to the level that the students had been doing since I had been there.
    They didn’t like the fact that I would pull them up on unethical practices and discrimination within the staff as being a non Colombian I was already a lower class.
    The thing is I have been doing international teaching for many years and thought are you for real. So I left and looked for another job when I got one that I believed would be a good fit and it was I did exactly what she always told us all in Texas no notice needs to be given.
    The irony was over 200 parents emailed the school not saying how dare she but asking why did she leave so abruptly when in her third year of an extended visa.
    So yeah there are a lot of principles out there that are unethical and power hungry that clearly treat people like second hand citizens for what reason but there are a lot of good ones. There is no need to stay with those that think they have the right to bully, belittle and threaten ones career.

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  18. Marlene says:

    I taught grade one for three months. We had parent/teacher conferences. One set of parents didn’t like the truth I spoke about their child being disruptive, not learning to read or count. They took this to the principal and threatened to pull their child from the school. I tried various strategies for this oppositional defiant child and numerous chats with the principal. She suggested one or two tactics which I chose not to use because of the classroom environment. this child went on a mini vacation. When they came back, i was told to have new strategies in place. Because I didn’t use one of the admin’s ideas, they wrote me up saying I was insubordinate. The next day, Friday at 3:10, i was pulled into the Director’s office and told that as of Monday morning, I was trading places with the MS ELL teacher. I went from full time to teaching 2 periods every other day, basically part time. Plus, I was put on probation until the week before Christmas. Everyone, parents and teachers, said their actions were unprofessional and unnecessary. This child will not change, in fact they haven’t. But I was blackballed, and hit by a mac truck.

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  19. catb says:

    Yes I agree that they are everywhere but there are more in some places and they will eventually pay for it. They not not attend to the contract (possibly on purpose) and then on the last day when you ask the question about the contract they state something like “we will talk”. The day passes and still no contact and you go on holidays not knowing if you have a job or not! They had done due diligence on you by sucking up to all the long term teachers and listening to their gossip and they do nothing to verify it any of it is true, Most of these teachers not all are very poorly qualified if at all and they use this method to remain popular. It is despicable. If you talk you talk too much and if you are quiet you do not mix! it is a no win situation and one is better out of there. Of course you are the loser as they have possibly already recruited someone for your position without as much as a conversation with you and no appraisal. They call themselves Christians but do nothing to show this attitude. My advise is to keep your values and ethics and if the only way to keep your job is to join the mob then do not do this.

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  20. anon says:

    Very timely posting. This is about to happen to me. The director is a crazy and lazy old coot who surrounds himself with barely employable teachers and young dumb hires who are just at the school for an easy ride and a ay check. As department head I tried to get some accountability from teachers as per my job description. The teachers were encouraged to complain and bad-mouth me to students and other teachers by the ‘principal’ who should know better .. although I have parental support, I know the axe is about to fall on the last day of school. What goes around comes around. It is a nasty badly run school that has gotten worse during the last three years I have been there and will probably end up folding up. Incidentally, it is in China.

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    • The Lamb says:

      Yep, stayed at a school like this for one year and we quit. Had some dumb Canadian who had been a middle school English teacher who backstabbed and creeped his way into the headship. Got a little Fliipino tart of a wife who is a fraction of his age and a bunch of idle suckups kissing his ass! There are plenty of other schools. Students come last and paycheck first for this idiot.

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  21. Yvonne Wakefield says:

    This also happened to me, but with a Kuwaiti colleague. As an American employed by the Kuwaiti government I had no one covering my back. I learned to duck and cover and stayed only for my students. When things ramped up to the very, very dangerous zone I resigned, my head held high, but the experience created post traumatic issues.

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  22. kyivanmarsupial says:

    Blind-sided teachers and blind-siding directors? Oh my LOL… I saw a couple good teachers blind-sided by the administrator, a school owner who kept the school principal as a puppet… gosh the stories one could tell…

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  23. modi says:

    Twice the following happened to me and to other teachers that I knew.
    The school fired me once in the middle of and once at the end of the spring festival holiday, it was too late to find alternative employment ( in china ) for that second semester and by extension until september of the new year. It brought on long term frustration, loss of savings and unemployment.
    Once, it was from my boss, his boss admitted that it was all b.s. because my boss did not like me.
    the second time the school tricked me and two other foreign teachers into working for them by having a foreign director ( english ) hire us as our would be director, with no office hours.
    the day we completed the hiring process, he quit and was replaced by a chinese director and we were told that we all had to work office hours. Two of us were very unhappy by this and other changes and we refused to cooperate, they kicked us both out with barely a few days warning and much less than the month of notice promised by our contract.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I had this very same thing done to me by my former Director. He claimed that “most” of my colleagues didn’t like me and thought I felt superior to them. This confused me, because I had been having normal & positive interactions with everyone. So after leaving his office, I sat there in my classroom, alone and racking my brain trying to figure out who it was that didn’t like me and why. I decided to ask around and encourage my colleagues to be frank with me, because I wanted to improve myself as a person. Almost every person I asked laughed and said this was foolish They cited how well I got along with everyone and that they liked me very much. I only had one person say anything slightly negative and that was easily fixed. It was due to a simple misunderstood comment. I went back to my Director and told him about all this, but he tried to say that these people were just afraid to tell me the truth and hurt my feelings. Trust me, that was NOT the case. These were my friends and they were not afraid to tell me I made them mad. When I discussed this with the school counselor, she said that this was a game he was playing to get me off balance and make me vulnerable. She also said he had done the same to her and others. I hate people like that, especially when they are the top admin at a school. It’s a disgusting tactic that can lead to all sorts of self-confidence problems for a teacher. But then again, that’s why they’re in administration; they love the politicking and gamesmanship of manipulating people under them.

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  25. Meschi says:

    I understand totally the situation which you describe. I had pretty much the same thing from administration. This kind of thing can drag one down. The administrator fortunately left mid year, Christmas break, and I successfully completed the year.
    I did get another position in the same country, but pro-active teacher type administration.
    I know it hurts, but you have to move through it. There are bad administrators everywhere. By the way, mine went to Thailand. hope you didn’t get him.

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