Yes, I agree...That is one of the reasons that I am hesitant to
work in a charter school...You can't work up to tenure, so I will
NEVER have a voice without the fear of losing my position.
I am not a perfect teacher, but I work VERY hard to do the best
job possible. I have a passion to teach and help students. I am SO
tired of all the disgusting politics in education...That is what
makes me want to quit. I used to (when I was a tenured teacher in
another state)sit on interview committees. After the principal
disregarded the teachers' choices several times, I told him that I
would never be on another hiring committee. He would hire
the "cheap" and "trainable" teachers before he would
choose/consider an experienced one...Also, the last CO school that
I subbed in had a principal who would make a fabulous politician.
He had the charisma and smile, but he would treat young/new
teachers like slaves. When he couldn't persuade the tenured/older
teachers to be on the committees (IMO many were
pointless/useless), do extracurricular sports/clubs, he pressured
the already overworked/underpaid ones. So sad...One teacher cried
that she really needed/wanted to be full-time, so she felt that
she had to give in to the pressure of assuming more duties in the
hopes that she would someday have a full-time job. :-(
You are right about just smiling and going "with the flow". As
soon as you give a weird look or ask questions about policies,
principals pull out the question of whether you are a "perfect
fit" for their school. So, you are correct about smiling
and "going with the flow"...
On 7/16/08, think you are smart to Cteacher wrote:
> That gives you an idea of how bad a bad school or bad principal
> can be. The problem for teachers is that it is difficult as a
> teacher to do much about bad working conditions because
> children are involved. In other professions, you can make
> complaints and they will be more or lessly acknowledged by the
> common person. But teachers work with children so bad
> districts, schools, or admin can always throw in the child card
> and muddy the discussion by claiming that their practices are
> for the good of the children. So when they overwork the
> teacher, it is for the good of the children and a teacher who
> complains can be accused of not caring about the children. Same
> thing applies whenever a teacher objects to any situation.
> This has proven to be an effective argument in education. So
> bad working conditions continue and are almost unchangeable.
> Can I give you the best piece of advice that I ever gave a new
> teacher? My friend D started her first year teaching in Utah. I
> told her about my experience. The best advice I gave her that
> she thanked me for later and that really helped her have a good
> year was this: Do not ever complain to admin about anything
> until you have tenure. Instead, just don't do anything you
> disagree with.
> The reason for this is because if you complain about their
> policies or even just try to rationally explain to them why
> their policy is not the best one, you will be seen as a boat
> rocker instead of as a caring teacher who is trying to do the
> best thing. And they will keep their eye on you forever after
> that to make sure you are following every policy to the letter.
> If you don't ever come to their attention, then you can
> basically run your classroom however you want and they will not
> have a clue because they don't have time to micromanage every
> classroom as much as they want to. Basically, if you don't tell
> them about it, then they won't know about it.
> Every once in a while, they will see something that you are
> doing that is not how they want. When that happens, act stupid.
> Tell them, "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm new. I didn't know. I was
> confused. I'll change it immediately." Then you will have to
> change that thing at least change it as much as you have to to
> look like you are doing it their way. But you can still do
> everything else your way until they find out about it.
> Admin does not like teachers who do not comply in every little
> way. Actually, the truth is that you can comply in every way to
> every directive of theirs and every instructional practice they
> mandate but if you comply but voice a contrary opinion, they
> will have it out for you--especially if you are new. When you
> get tenure, then you can tell them you think there is a better
> way or even to stick it sometimes. Until then, appear agreeable.
> This is how my friend D did it on my advice. And guess what. It
> worked out perfect for her. She does what she thinks is best in
> her classroom. Her principal loves her. Nobody has caught on
> even once that she is not following all of their stupid
> policies. Which is how I told her it would be. Of course, they
> asked her back for a second year.
> The truth is that principals for the most part do not care how
> really good you are. Most of them will fire a good teacher who
> threatens their ego before they will fire an ineffective
> teacher who make them feel like the great white chief. They
> will only use your students not learning very much as a reason
> to fire you if they don't like you. If you are a good teacher
> and they don't like you, then they will say you are not a team
> player or don't fit the school culture or they will just make
> up stuff that isn't true. And if you question ANY school
> policies, they will not like you. If you seem like you are
> happy and going along with the flow, you will always fly under
> the radar and the admin will not target you. Smile at
> everybody. Never complain to anyone at the school unless you
> make friends with a teacher you can truly trust. And make sure
> they are not the type to go blab anything you tell them.
> I know this seems crazy. But I swear to you, this is how most
> schools operate. I learned too late for myself how to play the
> game. But I didn't learn to late to help my friends play it
> well. If I ever taught again, I would certainly know how to do
> Other educators will probably tell you I am off my rocker. But
> I predicted to D if she played it this way then she would have
> an easy year with no problems with admin and that is what
> happened. Do YOU think I am telling you the truth?
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