teachin' school

teaching tip 7. admin – the good and bad.

school leaders tend to fall into two categories: hard asses and slackers.

the good principals

hopefully, you get one of these guys. but no one can guarantee that… you might be thinking that the best principal* is one who leaves you alone and doesn’t get in your business. but you’d be wrong. i know what you’re thinking. who wants a hard ass? you do. hard asses get shit done. my principal is intimidating and expects a ton from his teachers. but it raises the level of our teachers. he takes care of us and expects us to take care of the school too. he is supportive and responsible. trust me. you want a hard ass. they do your evaluations on time, answer your emails, talk you up to the superintendent, remember to ask about your sick dad, etc.

the bad

now, i mentioned another type of principal, the slacker. i know that in theory it would be awesome to have a guy (or gal) in there who is not breathing down your neck. but him being a slacker just rubs off on everyone else, from the secretary to the teachers to the kids. the rules relax until there are no more rules or discipline for anyone. kids (and teachers) need support, boundaries, and guidance. the slacker is gone all the time, inconsistent, forgetful, dismissive, out for himself, etc.

if you get the hard ass, don’t worry. you’ll get used to it in time. just watch what you say and do. be respectful because they could be even more type A than you ever imagined. and some of those guys can come off as kind of mean. try not to take it personally.
if you get the slacker, find a mentor and work your ass off with your team/department because that guy will not be doing you any favors. but lucky for you, the slackers never stay in one spot for too long.

*substitute instructional coach, assistant principal, athletic director or superintendent here.

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