Monday, May 22, 2006

Explaining My Resignation, Part 3

Things I Think An Administrator Should Know:

1. Being in classrooms is more important than you think. It's so critical for kids to see your face everyday and to know who you are and that you know them and what they are learning.
2. Talk to kids. Maybe know a few of their names, particularly those who struggle so that you might touch base with them. Sometimes? It's okay to hug a kid. Your clothes will unwrinkle, I promise. If they see you in real life occasionally, they wouldn't have to refer to you as "that lady on the announcements."
3. Support your teachers. When parents complain, go talk to the teacher to see what the deal is. Do not attempt to humiliate the teacher in front of the parents.
4. The Code of Conduct? It's best when it applies to all kids fairly, not just the ones whose parents you can bully. Parent with standing in the community should not affect your choice of consequence. Nor should their parent being a teacher in the building.
5. Classes should be created equally and without regard for who the teacher is. Parent requests should be considered when it is a style of teacher they might suggest, but not by teacher name. My class should not be stacked with gifted and bright kids while the new teacher's class is the armpit of the fourth grade. This scenario benefits neither teacher, nor kids.
6. Know your school. If a grade level has put on a PTA sponsored end of year tradition every year since the school has opened, you should really be aware of that event. When you realize that you don't know about it, have the decency to be embarrassed and ask instead of yelling at the teachers.
7. Know the law. You cannot force a child to be retained. It is a group decision involving the parents. You should know this and teachers shouldn't have to tell you.
8. Evaluations of teachers should be honest, fair, and based on what you see in the classrooms, not based on what you are hoping to influence them to do. For instance, if you are afraid a teacher might leave, don't use a good evaluation to try to sway them to stay after you have been horrible all year. If there is a teacher who you don't support, don't slam their observation in an effort to get them to see that you are right. Just be fair.
9. There are six grade levels in the building. You should commune with them all, not just the ones who spend all of their time in your office sucking up. The rest of us are teaching and you should come watch.
10. Smile. You work with near children. They're really not that bad.

1 comment:

Katie said...