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11 Things Teachers Need Principals to Stop Doing Like… Yesterday


11 Things Teachers Need Principals to Stop Doing Like... Yesterday

Do you ever wish you could summon your principal to your classroom after school for a meeting? Maybe you’d start off on a sweet note by offering one of the Dollar Store chocolate hearts still in your cabinet from last Valentine’s Day. Then you’d dive right in: I’m worried about your working memory. Are you aware that we are still smack dab in the middle of a pandemic? Oh, you knew that? So, my next question is, “What the actual heck then?”

Here are some things teachers really wish their princiapls would understand and stop doing immediately.

1. Meetings Can Just Go Away

Somehow, we’ve been roped into more meetings this year. How in actual school hell have admins found a way to do this? In a typical year, the number of meetings we must attend is practically criminal, yet the quantity has somehow ramped up. If it weren’t so overwhelming, we’d almost be impressed. 

2. Evaluations Are Unfair and Cruel Right Now

When was the last pandemic that drastically affected teaching in the United States? Oh, in 1918? So, do you suppose we could just not evaluate teachers who are navigating waters no one in this century has yet traversed? Does anyone really care if I read my objective when everyone is just trying not to catch the plague from their students?

3. We Don’t Have Time or Energy for Observations

Are principals genuinely expecting the same level of teaching when I’m not getting within six feet of my students, and have to shriek through my mask to be heard? Listen, if you’re coming in to assist, by all means, welcome. But if you’re just coming in to see if I’m including partner talk in my lessons, you can go sanitize some door handles or something else more useful instead.

4. Not Everything Needs a Committee

No one- not even that insane peppy teacher who must sleep all of 20 minutes a night- wants to be part of a committee this year unless it’s called “The Committee to End All School Committees”. Even after the pandemic, committees can stay gone, and we wouldn’t be sad. 

5. This Is Not the Time for Micromanagement

From ridiculous new staff dress code rules to complaints about mask prints, the silly issues admins focus on causes even more stress. During a pandemic, why does it even matter if I’m wearing my unicorn onesie to school every day? It’s my PPE, sheesh.

6. Donuts Do Not Make Everything Okay

No amount of maple-glazed is going to make what is happening this year any more manageable. Piling more on our plates and then adding a donut as the cherry on top to make it all better…doesn’t…make it… better. But… we still want the donuts please.

7. Stop Throwing Around Big Words to Try to Make the Situation Sound Better

“Fluid.” “Asynchronous.” “Synchronous.” There’s a constant swinging door of students moving from in-person to hybrid to distance and then back again. Using important-sounding words doesn’t make the situation any less what-the-heck-is-even-happening. Just call the situation like it is: B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

8. Shaming Staff for Sick Days Sucks

Pretty sure the actual rules are to stay home when ill. Traditionally, teachers would work through elephantiasis if it meant not having to write sub plans, but a pandemic that could kill our parents and families is nothing to mess around with, OK? Principals need to genuinely encourage teachers to stay home to take care of themselves (and the entire school) if they are ill. Constant reminders that there are no subs translates to “Covid-19 or not, come to school, so we don’t have to deal with your absence”. 

9. “Thank You” Emails Are Hollow Without Action

Yes, it is nice to be thanked. However, when what we’re being thanked for is straight lunacy, it’s more a slap in the face than an actual acknowledgment. Instead of sending out mass, generic thank you emails, principals can show they appreciate staff by contacting superintendents, local governments, and governors to advocate for us.

10. Praising Us While Increasing Our Workload Doesn’t Trick Us 

OK, we get it. We are fantastic at bringing it even while draped in masks and PPE and drenched in hand sanitizer and hopes and prayers. But, telling us we are amazing while adding yet another thing to our overflowing plates is disrespectful at best. We need admins to stop adding more to the already overwhelming job of teaching. 

11. Don’t Downplay the Stress of Teaching Remotely

Distance teachers are working their behinds off. We are sacrificing our time and mental health by creating never-before-done virtual lessons. On top of that, we are navigating new digital platforms and being forced to see things we wish we could bleach from our eyes and remove from our memory, like naked parents, rude unmuted conversations, and students who bring their whole class in with them to the bathroom. 

Admins have the power to make the current situation easier or way more stressful for teachers. So, principals, can you please choose “easy”? K, thanks. And, seriously, please don’t stop the donuts.

ALSO CHECK OUT:

11 Things Teachers Need Principals to Stop Doing Immediately

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