Compliance specialist to principals: Call before it’s a crisis 

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a compliance specialist in a large district in New York. I’ve worked in my department for years, so I’ve learned how to handle a wide range of issues. Some of the same scenarios pop up year after year, and very few things stump me. And yet, the same principals reach out to me over [...]

9 ways educators can fight corruption

Career, Career Confidential|

Q:  A teacher I work with was shaking as he told me a senior had failed his class — one he needed to graduate. My colleague knew his supervisors were upset with him even though he had given the student plenty of chances. I said, “Look, I’m sure you did what you’re supposed to do [...]

Teacher feels threatened by colleague’s public recognition 

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Q:   I’m a teacher in a district where the central office recognizes outstanding educators at the elementary, middle, and high school levels with an annual “best educator” award. There’s a big hoopla and ceremony involving the Board of Education and County Council members and even local businesses, and the chosen teachers get a stipend for continuing [...]

Principal upset by staff response to school climate surveys

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Q:  I’m your typical “open door” principal. I have a parade of teachers coming in and out all day long to share concerns or solicit advice. I don’t think I come off as arrogant or unyielding. I’m very personable! (At least I think I am, based on my stream of visitors.) And yet, whenever my [...]

Burnout prevention: 3 ways teachers can recharge their batteries

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a seventh-grade teacher, and I’m so fried. This year kicked my butt, though I can’t put my finger on any specific “why.” Today is the last day for students, and I’m already dreading returning in the fall. I love teaching, and I really love my students, but I feel like I’m a living to-do [...]

What can principal do about aggressive parents who attack him, his staff? 

Career, Career Confidential|

  Q: I’m a principal, and there are two or three parents that attack me or my staff regularly, often on email. They threaten to call the police, sue us, beat us up by the flagpole (kidding, kind of), etc. We’ve had countless face-to-face meetings with them, I've engaged my boss, tried to get help from central [...]

Teacher annoyed that academics lose out to sports

Career, Career Confidential|

  Q: I’m a high school math teacher in California, and sports in my district seem to take precedence over everything else, including academics. It seems like my students are constantly leaving early for a baseball, basketball, or football game. It’s disruptive and disrespectful, and I don’t get why this is allowed in a school. Sure, sports are great, but the [...]

Principal’s attention to girls’ dress code disturbs teacher

Career, Career Confidential|

Q:  I’m a teacher in a large school system with a pretty detailed dress code policy. Among the rules are ones stating that students can't wear straps less than one-inch wide; their bra straps can't be visible, even when bending or stretching, and cleavage of any kind is totally verboten. We have a male principal who often [...]

Teachers and social media: A cautionary tale about the risks

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I am not friends on social media with parents. I don’t decline; I just ignore the requests. I feel more comfortable setting that boundary. But here’s the thing. That’s not enough to protect teachers. You have to be smart. Here’s an example. Recently, one of my part-time teacher colleagues got involuntarily transferred to a new [...]

Does teacher need to find new job after romance with colleague ends badly? 

Career, Career Confidential|

  Q: I’m an elementary school special education specialist in my early 20s, and I just broke up with my boyfriend. Here’s the issue: He’s a 5th-grade homeroom teacher in the school where I work. It’s almost recruiting season for schools, and I’m wondering if I should start looking for a new job. I’m barely holding [...]

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