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Data is more important?

Administrator Issue 


Full Member
Last week, I met with my principal who accused me of having no relationships with students and poor relationships with my colleagues. I voiced my concerns and explained how I did not believe these accusations were true. I pointed out that, as department head, I purchase shirts every year for my department (to create a sense of unity and pride), I have an open-door policy for anyone within my department, and I am accessible to all with my personal cell number, email, etc., and I create events for us to get together to socialize. For students, I created/coordinated all of the events for my grade level, including the semi-formal and the promotion ceremony. I have the same open-door policy for my students, and many do share with me issues they are having.
When I was done speaking, my principal told me that "no one really cares that you bought shirts or coordinated activities - all they care about is data".
I beg to differ. In my opinion, in order for teachers and students to perform well and want to do well in a class, they must feel valued and cared about. This will help motivate them to succeed. If it is "just about data", then the realization is that we are trying to create 'robots' and not working with humans.
Perhaps this is yet another reason why teachers are leaving...


Senior Member
So the P says you have poor relationships with staff and students, you give examples of how you help build those relationships, then the P says no one cares about relationships???? Wth????:confused:

Run far, far away from this toxic person. ( I know you said you are trying to) :(

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
Talking out of both sides of his mouth…

You can’t win with this individual. Relationships are not built with data. If what he said was true, it would be because people are so concerned with the data aspect of their jobs, they have no time to build collegial relationships. That’s on him…

I hope you can leave and the sooner, the better.


Senior Member
I would bet you two bottles of Merlot that your ding dong Admin took a similar course to the one I had to sit through last year.

The instructor threw up a bunch of slides with math and language performance data and metrics which were obviously taken from an underperforming school. He highlighted various data points and blathered on about benchmarks and intervention points and heaven knows what else. Then he paused dramatically and said (as though he hadn’t rehearsed all this in advance), “Listen, folks. We could parse this data all day and into tomorrow, and it’s right that we take a deep dive into the data [at this point, I concede, I’m triggered because ‘deep dive’ is one of my pet peeve cliched phrases in education]. But friends, when you have as much experience as I do in school and district administration, you see a lot more than just data in these numbers. I see students who are unengaged and frightened. I see teachers who are either coasting to retirement or have simply given up. I see parents who are struggling and not getting the support they need from the school. I see missed opportunities to build relationships.”

If your admin has drunk the koolaid with crap like this, good luck. You can either keep your head down and wait for the P to be transferred or start looking for a school where the leaders are better at keeping it real. Either way, I wish you better days ahead.


Senior Member
Good for you for speaking up for yourself! It obviously surprised your P because when you did stand up for yourself he did a 180 on his claims and then made it about data. His response to you was extremely rude and not fitting of someone in leadership. What a jerk.

I would think if your P is so unhappy with you and wants to purge higher paid teachers from his staff he’d support your leaving to take a job in another district.
Fingers crossed you are able to get out of your contract and move on!


Senior Member
my principal told me that "no one really cares that you bought shirts or coordinated activities - all they care about is data".

Correction: All your Principal cares about is data (or their boss)

The focus on data is absolutely ridiculous and seriously “missing the forest for the trees”.

FWIW I would love to have a supervisor like you who sounds balanced, personable, and reasonable.


Senior Member
When I sit through bs meetings like that I ask for examples of things the admin would suggest to help build relationships (improve classroom management, test scores, etc).

Every single time I’ve dealt with I’ve already done everything suggested and they’re just being arrogant jerks.


Senior Member
Call your principal on that statement by turning what you have done and are doing into data.

For example, track the numbers of phone calls and email exchanges with colleagues, parents, and students. Record the number of events you organize and/or help with and the number of students who participate. Ditto with the number of students and colleagues who come in to talk with you about academics or other concerns.

Then, if the principal rejects that data, they will have to explain "what data." Probably test scores. But make them say it. Then you have a very different conversation, centered around what changes are actually needed/possible to increase student achievement. And the principal can't blame it on your supposed lack of effort in establishing relationships.


Senior Member
This principal is a crack head! I can’t even begin to understand her logic here!

I’d call a grade level meeting and ask if they like the shirts because you’ve been told they don’t.