Confronting a teacher with disturbing behavior   

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a principal, and one of the teachers in my school is in a bad state. He doesn’t practice proper hygiene and often takes off “ill” in the middle of the day. He’s forgetful, irresponsible, and seems to have an altered view of reality. Conversations indicate that his perception of events is off, whether he’s [...]

What should teacher do if coworker lied on resume? 

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m in a weird position. I work at a high school, and I have a pretty good relationship with another teacher in my science department. He’s a respected teacher. The kids like him, and they perform well on the AP bio exam after taking his course. He’s been at the school for four years, and [...]

Teacher can’t move beyond her mistake

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a high school math teacher. Five months ago, I made a stupid mistake. I accidentally sent personal information about one of the students in my class to a different student’s parents. I not only shared that this kid was failing, I expressed concern about his mental health. I know. The second parent knew the [...]

Principal frustrated by rigid teacher’s lack of empathy

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a principal at a large public high school in Wisconsin. As principal, I know some teachers will need more hand-holding than others, but one of my 9th-grade science teachers is really giving me a run for the money. She’s actually a competent teacher. Her students leave her class with a solid knowledge base, she [...]

How should principal handle teacher’s vague sexual harassment report? 

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a principal, and one of my teachers recently confided in me that she’s been sexually harassed by a male colleague. She said that he’s been asking her to perform sexual acts and making sexual comments. As she spoke, I had this gut sense that she’d been sexually assaulted and asked her if he’d made [...]

I want to advance, but my principal plays favorites

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I work in a highly regarded school that’s full of ambitious people, including myself. I’d like to be an administrator. Even our principal wants to be promoted to director and oversee other principals. He makes self-serving decisions about which teachers to support. He caters to staff members he thinks might have useful connections in [...]

When a parent complains to a teacher about another teacher 

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a homeroom teacher in an elementary school. It seems like whenever I leave the school building, a parent is lying in wait, wanting to talk to me about a school issue. They don’t pick up on any hints that it’s neither the time nor the place. I can be literally sitting in my driver’s seat, [...]

Principal needs to master art of feedback not resort to bullying

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I work in human resources for a pretty big school district in Ohio. Staff members contact me for help when they feel wronged or bullied. I’ve gotten more than one complaint about a specific principal. One teacher who complained is an underperformer, and the principal is under tremendous pressure from parents and supervisors to [...]

Phyllis Fagell on what she’s learned through Career Confidential

Career Confidential|

Since last spring, Phyllis Fagell has written more than three dozen weekly Career Confidential blogs. Why focus on workplace issues for educators? Because kids aren’t the only ones who come to school every day. The adults working in schools have their own unique challenges — and not all of them are related to students. “When [...]

Teacher clashes with principal over all-staff email to advertise GSA

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: We have rules at my school regarding when it’s appropriate to send an all-staff email. Basically, it needs to pertain to school business. I get that. No one wants their inbox clogged by teachers looking to sell old couches or find an in-network dentist. Still, I was shocked when my principal chastised me for sending [...]

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