.If you’ve worked with a teaching colleague who later became your Principal, you know such a promotion can mean positive changes to the teaching staff. Considering that a teacher-turned-Principal has experience with the rigors and demands of the classroom, who else could be better qualified to work with and support their colleagues?
Having personally worked with teachers who went on to become outstanding administrators, the idea that a teacher-turned-Principal is a plus for the teaching staff, rings true for me. Apparently, however, this is not always true…
Based on teachers’ Comments found in ISR School Reviews, some newly crowned Principals have been guilty of setting their sights on climbing the admin ladder at the expense of their teachers. Other newcomers are reported to have become subject to the whims of greedy school owners who use them as not much more than their mouthpiece. Self-preservation and survival on the job can override administrators with even the best of intentions.
ISR Asks: Have you worked with a teacher-turned-Principal who became a champion for the teaching staff? Or, was your experience one in which this individual turned his/her back on former colleagues, all with an eye on a future directorship?
In the Words of ISR Members:
To be fair to admin, I’ve found the number one determinant to how they behave is how they, themselves, are treated in the school. If owners are money-grabbing control freaks, then they will either toe the line or end up leaving within three or so years. They might even try battling against the system for a while before realizing that it’s hopeless and therefore pick their battles. Some will try to shield their faculty as best they can, but most soon understand their role.
Most administrators I’ve worked with had a single-point agenda of moving up the career ladder, bashing anything getting in their way.
I had a colleague that later became my principal. I know she found it difficult to suddenly be in a position of authority, with the final word. I feel like she always tried to weigh teachers’ comments before making a final decision. Some of us continued to like her and others came to despise her. I guess you can’t please everyone. Maybe that’s why they say it’s lonely at the top.
My experience was good and continues to be so. I’m working with an excellent principal who was previously a colleague. He goes to bat for with us with the parents of over-privileged kids who complain we assign too much home work, or the test was too hard. He also acts as a buffer between our unrealistic director and us. So far so good! I hope this principal’s principles don’t preclude a long career. We need people like him!
Have you worked with a teacher-turned-Principal? How was the experience? What tips or Comments do you have for teachers on the path to becoming administrators?
Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion Board