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bad administration - lets parents run school


help us

I teach a gifted xth grade classroom in an affluent area. There is another xth grade gifted teacher and 3 "regular" xth grade classrooms.
Out of the 5 of us, 4 plan on leaving at the end of this school year.

The principal was new last year. It was my first year there and there were no problems. I felt supported and appreciated. The principal would stop by to tell me some parent said something nice about me to her. I recieved good evaluations and constructive advice.

This year it is completely different. Parents are being allowed to run the school. Some teachers are being supported and others are not for similar situations. Many of us are receiving bad letters in our file.... I have three letters as a result of ONE situation with ONE parent. I don't understand why one parent is being allowed to dictate what I do in my classroom and the future of my career. I teach more than 50 students and ONE is complaining. It doesn't seem to matter that other parents are sending very positive messages to me and the admin. None of that matters - only this ONE parent's opinion seems to matter. My entire team agrees that the situation is unfair. Many other teachers are getting these letters as well for unrelated situations.

It seems like this is the admin's way of dealing with problems... don't they know writing scathing letters and twisting the situation to make it seem worse isn't a solution??? They have completey broken my spirit. Things that were acceptable and fine last year are suddenly not acceptable.

One team mate was told yesterday that a parent told the admin that they think she is "unbalanced". I've worked with this woman all year. She does a great job with her lesson plans - very detailed, very complete - ALL THE TIME. She's not perfect, but she knows what she's doing. She is a veteran teacher with decades of experience, but her first year at this school. She was packing up her whole classroom yesterday because she's convinced she's going to be fired. She says she can't fight allegations like these. How can she prove she's not unbalanced? She is so tired of walking on eggshells all year and fighting for her job. She's endured about as much as a body can take. Her spirit has been broken as well.

I've gone to the union. They didn't help me much. They just told me to write rebuttals to the letters. I planned on doing that anyway.... now my "crazy" team mate wants to go to the union too. I have heard that there are others who have gone ,too. I'm hoping that if enough of us speak up something will happen... but either way, I am not going to feel comfortable working at this school next year. I have considered leaving teaching altogether.

Any advice???