A recent WeAreTeachers survey revealed what teachers wish their bosses knew:
1. Treat us like professionals.
This was the top category of comments. Teachers want respect.
Marci F.K. put it this way: “Know that when I ask for help with a behavior, I’ve already used every strategy numerous times and am ready to lose it. I know how busy you are. I don’t do an office referral on a whim.”
Karla M. reminds principals that “music instruction is real instruction, not just a place for kids to be instead of study hall.”
“We’re all in this together,” says Diana E.M.
2. Be positive.
Laura S.I. had a simple request: “When you meet with me during my evaluation conferences, it would be nice to hear at least one positive thing about my teaching, classroom management, or even the set up of my classroom.”
Remember that “supporting staff would only strengthen them,” reminds Kate W.
3. Lighten our workload, please!
“I’d want my admins to know that I left work at 6:45 pm Friday and still brought home a huge stack of work to grade. I am doing my best but struggle with the weight of responsibilities. I need more energy to spend on my students,” says Sarah G.
“We give our very best but we do get very tired,” admits Carys C.
4. We want you to provide consequences/discipline.
“Someone, somewhere, in the school, needs to be the ‘bad guy’ to our students, every once in a while,” admits Kate C.
Mel B. follows this thought by pointing out “how little the kids care about getting in trouble when there are little to no consequences.”
5. We appreciate you.
“I am SO appreciative of the extra prep they gave me today because I subbed on my prep hour two weeks ago,” says Brenda B.
“I am thankful for the long talks and supports while I was learning and finding my feet. How grateful I am that I feel I could come to you for questions, frustrations, to show off my successes and that I know that you are one of my biggest cheerleaders. It made me feel safe to take risks and challenge myself. You have helped me blossom,” says Danielle S.
Respect obviously goes both ways. “We know how hard their job is too!” says Naomi O. “I am thankful for her positive, encouraging spirit. That’s the foundation for a great leader,” says Michelle D.
“I love when he comes into my room unexpectedly and sees the awesome things my kids do every day!” says Tanna C.S.
A word of wisdom from a principal:
“I wish my…teacher knew…principal knew…parents knew…students knew.” Don’t wish; find a way to express it. #usd260wgedd
— James Moffett (@DHEPrincipal) March 1, 2017
Join our Facebook group Principal Life for more conversation about and insights into the challenges of school leadership.