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 Please help me understand.... 
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Folks, I'm going to vent for a few minutes, and then I would like your insight into something I discovered this week.

I don't know how many of you knew this about my past, but I am probably the only person with access to this forum who has ever had a contract not renewed. It was my first job straight out of college. At the time I was a naive 21-year-old who knew next to nothing about the business of education (I hope at least someone out there can remember the feeling). The principal who hired me seemed terrific at the beginning, but about a month after school began (mind you, I had not been assigned a mentor yet), she told me I should participate in the district's induction program. When I called the program's director, I was told that the program had already begun for the school year, and I would have to wait until the next year. I went to the principal with this information, and rather than calling the director back and insisting that I be admitted, she just said, "I guess that's the way it is." Like all new teachers, I had problems with classroom management, and I had no idea how to deal with them. This was a middle school, and my classroom forced me to put into the hands of my students thinks like drumsticks and tubas. Long story short, through not much fault of my own, I was put on an action plan at the end of my first year (I did not understand this; being a first-year teacher, I thought this happened to everyone at the end of their first year), and by the time I finally got admitted to the induction program and received my first education mentor at the beginning of my second year, the damage had been done, and around January, the principal began to talk to me about the possibility of non-renewal. Naturally I was shocked; I knew I was struggling, but I never saw this coming. When it came, I was devastated, and I thought seriously about never entering a classroom as a teacher again.

Since this dreadful experience, I have thankfully had three other principals who have been willing to give me teaching jobs. In working with these three principals, I considered them all to be up-front, positive and upbeat leaders who embody the ISLLC standards in ways that my first principal could only dream of.

None of these three principals are still serving the schools where they hired me (there are various reasons for this; I know at least one is in a position of more authority, but still, none of them remain at the schools where I was hired). However, I just discovered this week that at my first school, while various assistants have come and gone, my horrible first principal (seven years later) is still in charge of that school!!!!

WHY!!!!????!!!! Why is the administration in that school district so myopic as to not see that this woman is not fit to be in a leadership position? Why does she still have her job when NONE of the three other principals have theirs?

This does not make me feel good about the prospects of someone moral and ethical, who follows the ISLLC standards, being able to get and keep a good job in school administration.

I would welcome anyone's thoughts.

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Logan McGuire


Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:28 pm
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Logan, let's look at it this way...How are the test scores? Are the children getting a solid education? Is there a lot of transition or do the teachers stay? You had to leave that school to be where you are. IF not you that this happened to than who?

I have had similiar instances of molestation. I it that because things where done to me that were out of my control and the person that did these things to me was in a position of power. You have to look at things this way as a leader in a building there are those that manage and there are those who lead. Your former principal managed; however, not very well. What we've got to look at is this: is her mismanagement keeping the goals and objectives of that district from being achieved and if not, than that person will not have the pleasure of being on a plan. Eventually it will catch up with her and you won't have to deal with it.

Use it as a way for you to mirror yourself after...As you look at yourself, are you going to reflect this woman and her leadership style or will you see yourself in that reflection. I believe that she needs to be on a plan also; however, there is a bigger picture that we have to attend to.

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Alisa Ferguson
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Kernersville Middle School
We are called to serve. Our strengths and weakness will be evident to all. We are accountable for our actions and intentions.

In reference to past experiences, I can only believe that justice will prevail. Society has a way of working through these things and those in higher powers are only as aware of these things as we report them.

Don't let it rob you of the good that you can do.


Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:22 pm
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Logan, I would not dare try to defend what this administrator did. But perhaps he made a mistake. Perhaps this person should be booted immediately. I thank you for your story though. Administrators should always strive to be fair to everyone.

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Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:02 pm
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Logan, what happened to you speaks volumes concerning strength. Your administrators lack of it and your great quantity of it. It takes a lot of time to mentor and care for new employees. Unfortunately, not all administrators are willing to put the time into it. I am doing my internship with a principal who has taken in three employees who had been placed on action plans in their old schools. All three, like yourself, are now thriving as accomplished educators. She was willing to do what it takes to help them succeed. Thanks for sharing your story. A platform persisting of aspiring administrators was definately the place to share!

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Rosanna Whisnant


Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:00 am
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I think we all know there are so many issues that keep administrators in their positions. Some make sense, while many do not. Look at the many facets that I have shared with you from my own administration at Bandys. Wonders never cease... Logan, maybe all of this happened to you for a reason, if nothing else for you to gain growth and understanding so that one day when you are in the same position, you will treat a new teacher with more respect and provide the help that he/she needs.

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Amy Scronce


Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:04 pm
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Logan, I am so glad this experience did not keep you from walking into another classroom. I am glad you decided to pick yourself up and trudge on. You chose to learn from the experience. You did not let it defeat you, and you are a better, more experienced educator because of it. Just think how much this will help you if you find yourself in a similar situation with a beginning. Think how much better you will handle things.

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Rebecca Secrest


Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:26 pm
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It's me again, Logan. I didn't do this just to get another post; I forgot to say something.

It took a lot of courage to admit this to us. Wow!

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Rebecca Secrest


Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:29 pm
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Logan,
Thanks for sharing your experience. I think this is something we can all learn from as future administrators. You say you struggled with classroom management but did your administrator ever offer any resources or strategies to help? I can't believe you did not have a mentor the first year. You probably could have fought her decision to not renew based on the lack of support shown. However, some things that I have learned as I've gotten older are the following: "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger." And I'm also a firm believer in "all things happen for a reason". You learned so much about what a weak leader looks like and that is a valuable experience for us since we will be in the position. I just hate to know that the kids at that middle school really missed out on having a great person as their teacher.[/b]

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Amy Hord


Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:45 pm
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Thanks for sharing. I have witnessed situations similar to your own and in most cases, the teacher continued to teach in another county. I will use this information to assist teacher as I continue as an administrator.

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Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:16 pm
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