Friday, June 22, 2007

Seriously, Can't You Just Be Nice??

The pictures below are of my bruises from the IVs I got in the emergency room. Just to prove I was really sick.

Now an administrator at my school says that I need to come take the trash from my room to the dumpster "for the kids." I hate it when they pull this manipulative guilt trip. Why not just say "I understand that you're really sick, but it would really help me if you came to throw away all the trash." Why use the "if you loved the kids, you would do this" card?

Administrators around me have a habit of this. A co-worker of mine was out for two weeks because her mother-in-law was dying in the burn unit. The co-worker says that an administrator was really supportive at first, then when said administrator realized she was out for a while, he/she started sending her emails asking her to do model lessons for a new school hiring process. When she said no, he/she apparently retaliated by scheduling her official observation on the day she returned - from a family tragedy - THIRTY MINUTES after she got there. How hard is it to have a little compassion, understand that someone has just been through a very traumatic family death, and give her a couple of days to get herself back together?

Another co-worker was a brand new teacher this year, and got a really really difficult first grade class. At first, the administrators were very supportive - "Oh, any support you need, let me know... blah blah blah..." But the support never really materialized. Out of the three administrators, two of them couldn't control the class either. To my knowledge, no one ever gave her ideas on how to control them, no one did a model lesson, no one got her the kind of support a new teacher needs. She left halfway through the year after being reduced to tears in her classroom many many times.

It's sad how many principals are the same way. When I started in January, 2000, the principal directed me to the room, told me it wasn't my room because I was a roving teacher, that i had to move all of my stuff into a closet and another room that wasn't really mine, and left. She didn't give me any clues as to what I was supposed to teach, where my curriculum materials were, how to get supplies, where I could find my class list, nothing. Apparently we subscribe to the "sink or swim" school of thought.

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