My admin clearly does not care about the students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tchr4vr, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jun 3, 2019

    So, this is more of a vent, but you know . .. (summer can't come soon enough)

    So, every year I reward my classes who pass our EOC tests with a pizza party. This year, I had 100% pass rate in all 4 of my junior classes. Since I have 4 classes on two different days at all times of the day, I planned the party for last Friday during last block. It was supposed to last for 30 minutes. I sent out an email asking the staff to kindly release students at the end of the day for the party, with the proviso that if the student was taking a test or a quiz, they DID NOT have to release them--it was ultimately the teacher's discretion.

    I get an email from my P asking if I had had the party approved. I did not - but in the last two years, I have not had to get it approved. I just did it, I just gave the secretary a heads up that pizza's were being delivered. I apologize and told her I had never had to have it approved before, and I would never let it happen again. Her answer - cancel it.

    I get it that for whatever reason she suddenly wants something approved, but really, if you cared about the students, she could have said, "In the future, please make sure you get it approved," and let me have the party anyway.

    Now I have to have 4 separate parties this week, which will cost more money and will be ridiculous for our secretary. Plus, I have kids missing this week for other tests, so some won't get their party.

    God I hope she leaves this year!
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    To play Devil's Advocate, the end of the year here is crazy with disruptions and students missing class for various trips and things. As a teacher, I would be fairly annoyed if I got an email saying a bunch of my students were going to be missing my class to attend a pizza party. Maybe she just wants to prevent an excess of lost instructional time. That said, I think saying cancel it at this point is a bit extreme, and as you said, it could just be handled differently next time instead of just canceling it.
     
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  4. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    I get what you're saying, however, right now, there are at least 35 kids in the hallway roaming about with no supervision. People are out and there are no subs for them. Admin has no problem pulling kids who are misbehaving, or kids who are a part of the favored group, but anyone else is a no no. I can tell you honestly, that since EOCs started almost a month ago, there is virtually no instruction going on--it's sad, but true. I can speak for myself as well, my students have been working on projects for the last 3 weeks--I am not physically teaching anything right now, and I generally am one of the few who works right up til the end.
     
  5. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    Jun 4, 2019

    I would be annoyed as well to be asked to excuse students for a pizza party. There are so many distractions and disruptions already at the end of the year. I'm also of the opinion that a reward or party for one teacher should happen during that person's class and not affect other people's classes. I know you say most teachers are done teaching by now, but if I'm one of the few who are still actively teaching and doing things in class, I would hate to be "punished" (for lack of a better word) because other teachers aren't doing stuff by having kids pulled from my class too.

    I know nothing else about your admin except what was posted here, but this alone I don't think says she does not care about the kids. I think it shows she cares about her staff and other teachers and respects their class time, which I would appreciate as a teacher. Having you move your party from one big party to a bunch of individual parties where the kids still get pizza doesn't show me that she does not care about students.
     
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  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 4, 2019

    I think something like this has to be planned with administration in the loop. In the past years maybe the P had no idea it was going on.
     
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  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jun 4, 2019


    Teachers say the same thing at my school - no one is doing anything. But unless you have spoken to EVERY single teacher, you really can't say that. I am still teaching and doing things with my students. I cannot reward the kids that pass my tests because 1) it's against FERPA and 2) some kids will be left out. That doesn't mean that I won't have some type of end of year plans.

    I admit I am a bit resentful when other teachers make me out to be the bad guy by saying my students can't go do something fun with other classes. Do your own stuff on your own time. If you really are concerned about the kids roaming, invite them into your room for those pizzas. I'm sure they would take you up on it!

    I also don't think it is fair to say that your admin doesn't care about the students. He/she may care about ALL of the students in the school while you are focusing on your smaller sections.
     
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  8. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jun 4, 2019

    Sounds like a "power trip" by your principal and certain teachers.

    ""In the future, please make sure you get it approved," and let me have the party anyway." is a reasonable response.

    Especially after Memorial Day when the school year goes 2 weeks into June, as much as those teachers want to delude themselves or put on some sort of "I'm the ultimate educator" front, no one is splitting any atoms in their classroom at this time of the year.
     
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  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Agreeing with the others. I don't think this clearly shows that your P doesn't care about the students. In fact, I think that it does show that she cares. Personally, I don't think that having pizza party based on academic performance is really appropriate anyway, and, if I were the P, I wouldn't like the idea of you doing it at any time during the school day, even during regularly scheduled class time.
     
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  10. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Jun 4, 2019

    I'm sorry your pizza party got canceled amid all of this. I hope your students still realize how proud you are concerning their accomplishments.
    For me, I always work til the end, so it can be a little less than ideal to excuse them for a reward. However, I would rather give up some time with them and be part of the encouragement....but that's me and not everyone in the world.
    I understand all of the valid points.
    Maybe next year, you can get the P to spring for paying for 4 parties. :)
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jun 5, 2019

    But you still get to have a party? Be lucky, in my school we couldn't do ANYTHING! Birthday cupcakes? NOPE! They got sent right back home. :roll: And I taught elementary school where they really could have used them!
    I just learned that there is a procedure that needs to be followed. It may be annoying, especially if you haven't had to follow one in the past, but I'm sure it helps manage chaos in the building.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    :agreed:
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I'm going to say that having a pizza party at all won't fly in NJ, so not too surprised. I salute the gesture, but, as a teacher who hates it when other teachers take students out of my class, I'm with the admin. I have plans, too, that may not include pizza, but they are still plans. Your teachers would probably be like me, say it's OK and let them go, but not thrilled. Give admin a break - this wasn't planned, approved, and executed properly, so a learning lesson for all involved. Don't be surprised, however, if there is a policy going forward about this kind of thing that is very specific in nature. For what it's worth, working hard, learning, and getting good grades should be an intrinsic reward that doesn't need pizza. The pizza party is more your way of letting everyone else know about the 100% pass rate, IMHO, something we all work to make happen. Not sure a couple of slices of pizza really was the motivation your kids needed - it was your passion for hard work that they should take away from the experience.

    Your plans are upset, and you are annoyed. Deal with it gracefully instead of showing your displeasure to your students - that wouldn't be fair to anyone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'm on Team Admin here, sorry. As a teacher, I'd be irritated that you made the decision that I wasn't teaching anymore, and as a parent, I'd be absolutely furious if you essentially announced publicly that my kid didn't pass your final exam.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jun 5, 2019

    Some won't get the party.

    Some won't get the party.

    Seems it is a wash. The only difference is it costs you more money and the secretary might have to call additional times.

    As for rewarding students for passing, that is wholly unfair. I know students who work their hardest and will never pass the tests and those who do little to nothing and will blow the tests out of the water.
     
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  16. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jun 5, 2019

    I invite everyone in the class, even if they don't pass, I don't want to exclude anyone nor point out to others that they didn't pass. It's a percentage, and my usual percentage is 80%, but I just happened to have 100% this year.

    I get what everyone's saying, and I definitely didn't think of it that way, however, knowing her past record and how we focus on the bad kids in the building--a kid comes to class for two days in a row and they get a McDonald's gift card. Kid does nothing all year and then is allowed to take one test and get an A in the course without approval from the teacher teaching the course. Kid comes to school high as a kite and is allowed to take an EOC test when he's ready, pulling a teacher from their assigned classroom all day to watch him take a test, but the eventual valedictorian of the class is late for their last EOC by 10 minutes due to traffic and they are told they have to wait until next year. (All of the above happened last year and this year under this P). This is the same person who came in to my class the last day of the school year, when all my students were exempt from the final and wanted to know why the students that were there were not doing anything and criticized me for having nothing planned.
     
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  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I think that you and your admin are not on the same page, and I don't see that as good for your mental health over the long haul. Some of the things that you mentioned are SOP when trying to improve behavior - it is a form of behavior modification. We can't give out food anymore, but we can entice with gift cards. Life doesn't seem to be fair, but you will drive yourself crazy if you choose to fight all of the battles. I have learned to accept that admin HAS to make all of these calls and decisions, and I do not. They earn the headaches that goes with the bigger salary, which is comforting at times. Like I said before, even serving pizza wouldn't happen here, so be grateful you get to spend your money on that. I do, however, still feel that intrinsic rewards, and the sense of accomplishment that they bring, is the best reward of all.
     
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  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    The other nice reward we have at our disposal, particularly as teachers of juniors, is the ability to write that glowing college rec letter.
     
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  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That's crazy. I don't think kids should be rewarded for the basic things they should be doing anyway. Coming to class is expected not something they are doing above and beyond. Passing tests is expected, too.
     
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  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I think this depends on the school. Personally, I would be frustrated if I got an email asking for certain kids to leave my class for a party. The kids in my class are doing a project, so they are still doing work and we don't have a ton of time to get it done.

    At my school, this would not be allowed without admin's approval. And my admin would say no.
     
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  21. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We have to have all of our testing incentives approved in writing before announcing them to the students. For example, my film students who certify in Adobe Premiere do not have to take the final exam in my course. But I had to have that approved before hand.
     

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