Little Miss Teacher is a place where those of us in the classroom can share our ideas, resources and experiences. We can also have a good old moan and share some of those funny little things our children say!

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Would you dare to tell your boss what you really think of him/her?


I have been put in a very strange situation this week. My head teacher, who is quite nice really, just in case he should ever stumble across this blog, has made a very unusual request from us as a staff.

He has recently started studying for his doctorate and it is all about his leadership style. He has asked us teachers to support him with this as his research will need to be based on our opinions and perceptions of him!

As part of this, he called a staff meeting last week to inform us of what he is going to be doing and to ask for our help. He has requested that we each write a letter to him explaining what we think of him. We can write the good things and the BAD! We can do this anonymously if we chose to, or put our name to the letter. If we sign it, he may want to discuss some of the points we have made in further detail at a later date! I have to say, I think he is extremely brave requesting this. Would you dare?

So, on Thursday night I sat down and thought I would give it a go! It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, being able to tell him exactly what I think of him! It was very therapeutic I can tell you. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time!

I started off as you do when you write the children’s school reports, by looking at the positives! I slowly moved on to the things that really annoy me. I would type them, then think to myself, “I can’t say that!” and then I would tell myself, well he did ask us to be honest, so I kept going. I chuckled from start to finish!

Then it came to the crunch! I had got everything off my chest, had a really good moan, made a few demands and told him what I thought of him. But my quandary was, should I sign it or should I send it anonymously?

I did decide, but I’m not going to tell you yet!!! I want to know what you would do given the same opportunity. Would you sign it?

Deb

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew said...

It is a very strange request and bizarrely I was in the same situation a couple of weeks ago. The only difference was that all the staff in our school had to meet and have an interview with 2 of the local LEA advisors! In my case I wanted to show support to my head, which I sure we all did, but we all have little niggles which if aren’t aired can become problems.

In your situation I think you should give the letter to the head teacher, but make sure that you write the negatives in a positive way. Ie rather than saying you never know what’s going on, suggest that communication in the school is good but it could be improved further by x y and z! Then if the head wants to talk to you about problems they you have with him they can. As for signing it – let’s be honest – he’ll probably be able to work out who wrote each letter anyway!

He’s a brave head for asking you to do this – but he’s also going to be a much better head for it I’m sure.

9:42 am

 
Blogger TEACHER SOL said...

DEB, last year was one of the most difficult times for my school for having a "special" principal, really annoying and unproffessional in most of his dealings with the teachers, the staff, the parents, and the students. I wrote several letters to him telling him of my grievances, and I signed my name, photocopied the letter, and had it received by the secretary for my documentation and for him to know who to go to if he wanted to settle those grievances with me (which he never did).

Things are better now for my school community. The principal last year was transferred and we now have a new principal who's very proactive, compassionate and fair to everyone. I am happy that our school's PRIDE is back!

By the way, I created a community website for my school (http://jeffersonjuniorhighschool.blog-city.com) and we're doing podcasting soon. Our new principal is very supportive of this community site and we're exploring more this new technology. Any suggestion on what more can be done to maximize the potentials of this community website?

Thanks and I would very much appreciate it!

5:26 pm

 
Blogger Preya said...

I would sign it, but set up a meeting to talk to him and explain your feelings. I think that no matter what he says you shouldn't make it too much of a vent.

Anyway, nice to have stumbled across your blog. I went to school in Thailand for a while--love it. I am getting my certification to teach secondary English at the moment. Hope to teach overseas ASAP. Look forward to reading about your experiences. I am adding you to my blogroll!
My teacher blog is Englicious

5:35 am

 
Blogger Debs said...

Thanks for the comments so far. It seems it isn't such a strange situation after all.

I am going to wait for a few more comments before I reveal what I have actually done about it though!!!

Deb

2:02 pm

 
Anonymous traci said...

It's a scary proposition all around, I think. I would probably sign it, because, as someone else noted, he'll likely be able to figure out who wrote it anyway. I guess my biggest worry would be that I limited my concerns in the letter to those that were really important--while it might be funny to note every nitpicky idiosyncracy initially, you have to ask how helpful that would be to improving someone's leadership. I tend to overanalyze, though--I'll rewrite a simple email to a colleague five times in an attempt to effect just the right tone. Best of luck. What did you do?

1:47 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a blog site, but really worth a look is the Teacher Books website lots of UK educational publisher listings and free catalogue request service too.

8:10 pm

 

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