An Open Letter to the Principals
If you were to ask random people on who holds a more important role in keeping the school fully functional – administrators always comes first into mind. In ways we can imagine, their multitasking skills are something to ponder about – striking a balance on the lack of budget and unmet expenditures, micromanaging teachers, one thing is for sure, the blame is directly reflected on their hard work.
However, in hindsight of all the administrators’ burdens, the pressure is distributed by hierarchy, making teachers directly answerable to no other than the principal. Well, that’s wrong, times have changed so much that the society itself has so many ongoing issues when it comes to us. The pressure was coming from the school to perform with fair compensation — the pressure coming from parents, shifting full responsibility in molding their children. With the ongoing stigma, that it’s a low-paying, entry-level job title, we are always under the pressure of over-performing to prove that more than the money we stayed true to our calling.
90% of the time, teachers practices patience and are afraid to speak their minds. Either we are ignored, or we fear to lose our jobs. In an attempt to ease this miscommunication, I hope to speak on behalf of all the teachers in our country. To the principals reading this, I wish to tell you that we both have one goal, to create a better tomorrow for the kids of today, so we should work hand in hand. I wish to tell you all of this from all the educators in our country.
1. Trust our teaching style.
We’ve been learning a lot about ourselves in our jobs, let us use that knowledge to serve the students better, moreover the school.
2. Schedule meetings out of school hours.
We would like to know what’s on your mind, but please know that interruption causes inefficiency to our scheduled lesson plans.
3. Respect our working space.
It’s a lot more complicated than you expect, we stay at school for long hours – but this is mainly because of planning daily. Our work doesn’t even entitle us to full break during summer but continuous planning for the next school year.
4. Playing favorites isn’t our best card.
We have seen the effects of it in our classroom, and you should know better.
5. Evaluate me on a constant basis.
This eliminates nervousness on my part, knowing that I only have one or two times a year to prove myself. We have a very exhausting job, the margin to make mistakes is very likely – you should watch us teach more often.
6. We are a subject of continuous scrutiny.
We would very much appreciate it if you don’t add up as another hindrance to the obstacle course, your trust will always be directly proportional to our effectivity.
7. Maintain an open-line for us to reach you.
When we can communicate with you, we become active as a team.
8. They say, best teachers belong to the classroom.
If you believe I am a good teacher, maybe one of the best, let me do what you think I do best, to teach. Putting me on committee works, gears me for administrative action, I want to help around but giving me workload compromises my skills.
9. Practice honesty.
Make uniform statements, so no one feels left behind.
10. Consider me a part of the team dedicated to one goal of serving the students better.
Make me aware of your expectations. Let me know how to contribute more; we value your support.
11. Practice empathy.
We always think your job as principal is hard, but so is ours.
12. Don’t talk behind our backs.
Act professionally; we can deal with constructive criticisms.
13. Handling parental interactions requires knowing both sides.
I am the one personally present in the classroom. Talk to me before making assumptions.
14. Attend to your immediate responsibilities, leave the teaching to us.
If you need our help on a certain rule or special education laws, we can help you with that, we don’t expect you to know everything, there are more pressing issues you need to attend to.
15. Enforce discipline to those who violated rules, generalizing sanctions disregards the excellent work of individual teachers.
The actions of one person don’t reflect that of the group, weed out those who need to be punished and give recognition where it is due.
16. We expect you to lead; if you have done well on that part, we will extend our utmost respect.
Otherwise, if you boss around, we would feel intimidated.
17. Our time is the most valuable resource we have.
Letting us decide on what can be beneficial to our teaching helps us avoid wasting our most important resource. We are all for camaraderie and taking initiatives but overdoing it is not necessary.
18. The balance between a teaching job and family is such a hard thing to come by.
Teaching is a very holistic job that requires focus. We would appreciate that attending numerous school function will be off the list we need to think about.
19. Be kind to us.
We receive all the pressure from all channels — our students, which is quite a number. My evaluation scores, judging eyes of the parents. A little encouragement will go a long way.
20. The best quality of a leader is their capacity to be relatable.
Knowing that you are imperfect and makes mistakes like all of us ease the pressure of our job, admit it and do the necessary corrections.
This is the most resonating problem in our teacher’s daily life. To those reading it, please share it so we can help ease the struggle of our teachers and we can learn from each other’s grievances.
For all the principals out there reading this piece of article, we would love to tell you that amidst all these, you are our saving grace. Just like any other loving relationships that require communication, nurturance – I want ours to grow as we continue to work side by side. Promoting positivity in our workplace will help make our school a happier place.
Lastly, teamwork is the key, if we treat each other as levels and not a competition we will achieve our shared goals of the school community.
I welcome your comments!