10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My School Administration Happy?


Five years ago, I wrote a series of seven articles called “Questions That Will Save Your Career” that still remain among the most visited articles on this site. When I wrote those, I had successfully completed my 5th year in education. This summer, after 10 years, I am revisiting some of these older concepts. Today, I revisit How Do I Keep My School Administration Happy?

  1. How Do I Keep My Students Quiet?
  2. How Do I Keep My Students Engaged?
  3. How Do I Keep My Students Interested?
  4. How Do I Keep My Students Learning?
  5. How Do I Keep My Students Away From Me?
  6. How Do I Keep My School Administration Happy?
  7. How Do I Keep My Sanity?
  8. 10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My Students Quiet?
  9. 10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My Students Engaged?
  10. 10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My Students Interested?
  11. 10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My Students Learning?
  12. 10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My Students Away From Me?
  13. 10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My School Administration Happy?
  14. 10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My Sanity?

How do you keep the administrators happy?

No matter how hard you try and no matter how much the students and parents love you, certain people remain who can make your job more difficult. Principals, superintendents, counselors, and secretaries are key people to have on your side. But how do you get them on your team? I talked about this at great length in a previous post. But we’ll look in-depth at some tactics that I have found to be fruitful.

Five years ago, I suggested the following:

  1. Underpromise, overdeliver
  2. Always present your students in a positive light
  3. Offer solutions
  4. Smile when you talk with themOver the past few years, I have noted a few more things that really seem to work wonders in making my principals and administrators super happy.
  5. Minimize parental complaints/maximize parental compliments
    By far the best comment I heard from my principal this year was that since I came to this campus last year, the parent complaints have dropped almost completely. The year before I moved to that campus, I had a total of three parent conferences. One of them was positive in every sense of the word and the other two were with the same parent of an 8th grader. She had numerous parent conferences the next year with the high school band directors and was no longer in the band program by the end of the football season.How do you minimize the complaints and maximize the compliments? BE NICE TO PEOPLE!!!! Your students are people. Talk to them like people. Their parents are people too. Talk to them like people too. It’s amazing to me how many teachers get into trouble simply because they seemingly forget this one basic concept.
  6. Smile at them daily
    As time permits, seek out an opportunity every day to see as many “important people” as you can and smile at them. The dividends will be huge. It’s simple yet this one change can transform a bad relationship into a good one. The same could be said about students.
  7. Be a team player
    Don’t complain. This ties into the previous subject of offering solutions, but it’s vital to work with the other teachers. If you are constantly thinking win-win, you will be a fantastic team player. When a problem arises, come up with an amicable option that will allow everyone to get what they want.An example: This year my concert was scheduled for a Tuesday. I communicated with the middle school office and they told me that the facility was available for the concert. Everything was going as planned until two weeks later the secretary called and let me know that there actually was a scheduling conflict and so I would have to move it to a different location or a different date. Outside in South Texas in May is not usually a good option, nor is in a gym with no air conditioning that would be overcrowded. So I moved it to the Friday before Memorial Day, knowing that some of our students would be out of town already. I was asked by a handful of students to move the concert because of a conflict with their softball games, but felt that moving the concert again to accommodate less than one half of one percent of the students would be overkill.  So I provided an alternate writing assignment for any student who missed the concert to replace their grade. The net result was that over 95% of the students showed up and the concert was fantastic. A side benefit was that it raised awareness of our community’s need for a good concert venue.
  8. Be proactive
    If you can foresee a problem, communicate with the people who need to hear it. If I know I messed up and am probably going to have a parent complaining to my boss soon, I let the boss know the situation. If I see a scheduling conflict on the horizon, I go out of my way to find a workaround. Again, it goes back to offering solutions.
  9. Avoid negativity at all costs
    Nobody likes negativity. It drags down the workplace. It practically never inspires confidence or encourages personal growth. It’s depressing. How many negative people do you have a positive opinion of? What does that tell you? Doom and gloom doesn’t keep anyone happy!
  10. Handle discipline problems in house as much as possible
    Assistant principals have their hands full. There is so much beyond punishment that they need to do in the course of their day. In a campus with 50 teachers, if each one sends one student to the office per month, that’s 450 students going to the office, or more than two per day on average. I think we can all name at least one teacher (please not you, please not you) who sends more than that. The more your students avoid the office, the better. There are numerous articles on this site about classroom management, so I’m not going into that here. But check them out!
About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

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