mail this InsideTeaching entry to a friend
16 December 2004: Cardinal Rules for Administrators (5 of 6)
Rule #4: Donít Embarrass a Teacher
Okay, I admit, thereís something I left out of that story. I wanted to save it for another rule. When Anna came in to make her demands on my classroom seating chart, I was in the middle of a planning session with the other fourth grade teacher. Poor Susan sat quietly, practically invisible, as Anna stood there and stole my professional credibility, belittled my judgment, and undermined my ability. You know the funny thing? Anna actually did break a rule with this one. As it turns out, my union contract says that any disciplinary action taken against a teacher needs to be done in private. Susanís presence in that conversation gives me grounds to file a grievance. Truth is, I havenít yet decided if I will. If I were to do it, it would not be out of vengeance or bitterness. Those feelings are already gone (replaced by overflowing astonishment). I only want to file a grievance if it seems to be what is best for the students. Will it take up much of my time? Cause me extra stress? Will it make it more difficult for Anna to become principal at another site? Will it encourage her to really unleash her wrath on me? Truly, sadly, I canít say which of these many possibilities are most important.