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Parent/principal problem


New Member
First of all, I am not a new teacher. This is my 20th year. Plus I've raised two kids of my own so I have seen education from both side: good, bad, and ugly. We have a new principal, vp, and principal's secretary this year. So here is my story...... I was getting
things from my box this morning and there was a woman standing at the
counter talking to the attendance clerk. I walked by and she said "Mrs. White, I'm going to
call you in a little bit." Mind you, this is at 7:45. I told her my prep
time was different today; it was at 1:15 so that was the best time to get ahold of me. She got
angry and starting saying other things like she had to work (and I don't). I
didn't know who in the heck she was so I left and went about my day. I get
an email from my principal not 30 minutes later. In the subject it says "parent
communication skills". He wanted to meet with me to discuss mine. I was
furious. Then he called me during 3rd period wanting to meet. I explained we
have a rotating prep so mine wasn't until 1:30. So I go see him at
1:30 and he proceeded to tell me that I should have stopped and met with
this parent right then and there. Never mind I had no idea who she was,
never mind I had kids coming in. By that time I had figured out who this
parent was. This is the same parent who walked past the all visitors check in sign into my room
one morning and got mad when I told her she had to check in with the office
(who, of course, sent her back down to me). This is also the same parent who
made a conference time with me for 7:30 am and failed to show up. I tell
him this, and he tells me the parents are the ones who pay our salary and
he has to stop what he's doing to meet with them (THAT"S HIS JOB!). Then he
said I should have gotten him to cover my room so I could meet with this
parent. I told him my job was being in the classroom with the kids and I had
told parents I would be available every morning at 7:45 to help with any
homework questions. He said "I help kids all the time." What does
that have to do with anything? So, I told him at least three times that I
disagreed with him and thought he was wrong. He said that's okay we can
disagree friendly and you do what I ask. I meet with parents all the time. I call many parents during the week for positive as well as negative. On an average, I get three emails a week plus I have my own website where parents can get each day's assignments. So, it's not as if I'm being anti parent.

This is a man who has been in our district since August. This is also the same man who sent out in his bulletin this month to please give the teachers 24 hours notice before coming to see them.

I am just so frustrated. I think we as teachers deserve to be treated much better than this.



Senior Member
Are you kidding me?

That would really tick me off. It doesn't matter who pays the salary; they can make an appointment so we can manage our time better. Are you in a private school? I have always worked in private schools, and our principals have always required parents make appointments and not just "pop in" to our classrooms.

I honestly don't know what to tell you, other than I think it's dumb that he said all that. You'd think an administrator would support you, not solely the parents. I hope he leaves soon.

Show Me

I feel for you

sounds like my former principal! He expected us to dance for parents. Good for you. I'd document this incident as soon as possible. Good luck to you.


Senior Member

I thought our clients were the students, not the parents. Students are the priority, especially more than one student. If it makes you feel better, you were in the right. But, perhaps you came across too gruff, but clearly you were busy. You can still own some of the responsibility for the miscommunication and unfortunate interaction, even though you were in the right. There is going to be a need to start fresh with this parent. The principal is just an idiot.



Well now you know where he stands and how far he'll back you. If the parent shows up unannounced again, tell her you'll be with her as soon as you get the principal to supervise the students. Then call the office or go to it and tell him you need him to supervise students so you can meet with the parent.

In addition pass the word to the other teachers that this is what he told you to do so they can do the same thing.
After he gets called a few times he probably will change his mind about this policy.

If you have a union his comments and instructions to you are things you should tell them. Also remember that failure to follow his instructions in the future can be written up as insubordination.


Senior Member
Agree 100%!!

I agree 100% with Marguerite. You were in the right, he is wrong, but now you know where you stand with him. Follow her advice, and document everything.

ps in my public school, no parents are allowed to come down the halls without checking in at the front. And no parents can do pop-ins. Be sure to include a copy of his "24 hour notice" policy to your file of documentation.


New Member
Re: parent/principal problem

Thanks for all your replies. Our school is just in turmoil right now. In addition to this new principal we also have a new vp. He seems like a good person but he has so little experience. He has only been teaching for 6 years. He was in the military before that. But the big issue is he hasn't had one administrative class. And he's going to be evaluating us. Needless to say, it's going to be an interesting year.