Whether you work in private enterprise or in a public school, chances are eventually you will encounter one of THOSE supervisors. You may recognize him or her by their condescending tone or “Iamalwaysrightanddon’tyouforgetit “attitude. If you haven’t ever had the pleasure, count yourself lucky!


I was lucky enough to have just such an administrator for one year in the public schools. Teachers cringed when they heard the click click of her high heels coming down the hall. I had recently come back from maternity leave and had to be placed in a different school due to the length of my leave. The teachers in the school warned me about THE supervisor but by that time, I had twenty years of experience under my belt and wasn’t too worried. My philosophy was to listen, smile and then do what I knew was right for kids. If necessary, I could always beg forgiveness rather than ask permission.

I got through the school year with no confrontations that The Principal was famous for and it was time for my end of the year evaluation. I smiled at the secretaries as I entered The Principal’s office ready for my evaluation.

Once I sat down, I will never forget her looking at me and saying “How can you unleash the cross-curricular higher-order thinking in your students that will expedite their learning?” I looked at her for a minute and then asked “Could you run that by me again?” She obligingly repeated herself.

I sat there for a minute and then answered “ I don’t know what you just said to me, but if you would like to know what I do to help my students achieve success, I would be happy to share that with you.” She just looked at me so I began to do just that. The rest of the evaluation went fine and as I exited her office, I saw the secretaries stifling their laughter with their hands over their mouths. They had tears in their eyes they were laughing so hard. One had to get up and head to the bathroom because she couldn’t stop laughing. She motioned for me to follow her and when she could finally talk, she told me that they had heard everything since the door was open. They thought it was so funny that I had “taken her down a peg”. I replied that I hadn’t meant to. I just figured that rather than engage in educational jargon and a guessing game, I would just cut to the chase. I got a good evaluation by the way.

As for the Principal, she was transferred to another school the next year. On one of the very last teacher workdays, she was sitting behind her desk with her feet crossed and propped up on her desk. As she conversed with someone on the telephone about her recent promotion, some of the staff witnessed her lean a little too far back in her chair when all of a sudden……crash! All they could see were her feet shooting straight up in the air. She evidently lost her balance and her chair fell back to the floor. Now THAT might have taken her down a peg!

26 comments

  1. Kelly // March 9, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

    LOL! You go girl!

  2. Stacey // March 9, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

    Loved it! And guess who met with the principal yesterday. Well you would have too if the PE "Coach" made the comment to you about your child "Well by law I can't kick him out of my class". Last year the first time I ever met him was for him to let me know "it's pretty much the Ethan show". So I am really thinking this man does not like my child. Yes my child has more energy than even I know what to do with, but he is a very smart child!

  3. Andrea // March 9, 2010 at 10:16 AM  

    Thank GOD for teachers like you...who do what you know is "right."
    Blessings, andrea

  4. LouAnne // March 9, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

    And all the teachers everywhere are giving you a standing ovation right now! :-)

  5. Choices // March 9, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

    Good for you! Bravo!

  6. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

    Lol....thanks Kelly!

  7. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 11:17 AM  

    Stacey,

    If that PE teacher made those comments to you, chances are he is making them to your child in front of other students. I have NEVER found a child I did not like. If that teacher has a problem with your child, then get them moved. I don't care how much energy your child has, there is a teacher out there who will appreciate and encourage him. A teacher needs to work with students and not stoop to an adversarial role. I encourage you to talk to the Principal.

  8. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

    Thanks Andrea!

  9. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

    LouAnne,

    I bet that teacher who I told Stacey to go talk to the Principal about isn't....lol. These are little people we are talking about with feelings. Sometimes it takes just the right key to unlock the door for learning for a child. Often times, I have found that you have to prove that you really CARE about the child and his or her interests first....ooops....I got on my soapbox, didn't I! ack

  10. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM  

    Awww thanks Choices. I think after you have been around the block a few times, you just don't have time for silliness. I just want to teach.

    Interestingly enough, that ambitious Principal "retired" soon after that. I don't think she had worked more than twenty years at that point.

  11. Sarah Lindahl // March 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

    Oh, how I wish I could have read this post when I was a young teacher encountering an incompetent, arrogant administrator for the first time. I could have really used the "do it and ask forgiveness later" advice then. I chose instead to butt heads with him and I lost almost every battle. Luckily for me his incompetence shined through in the end and I was eventually vindicated, but I could have done without all the trouble.

  12. Theresa Milstein // March 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

    At one time or another, every school gets one of these people!

    I'm glad you didn't try to engage in edu-speak. It's such a game (and waste of time) to speak like that when much easier words will do. Reminds me of the History program in graduate school. If we spoke in regular English, we were suspect.

    I wonder which scene gave the office a bigger laugh - your meeting or the fall.

  13. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 3:31 PM  

    Dear Sarah,

    I was the same way. I learned through experience. I am sorry you had such a bad experience though. Bless your heart!

  14. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

    Lol Theresa! I think that it shocked her that I didn't. As for which got the biggest laugh, by far it was when she landed on her toushee when she lost her balance I do believe. It spread like wildfire through the school.

  15. Margie // March 9, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    You have some great stories on your blog!
    Bravo on this one!

    Margie :)

  16. GregoryJ // March 9, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

    Did you actually understand her question. I still can't figure it out.
    the fall would have been good to see.
    surprised that type of person would put their feet up.

  17. Debbie // March 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM  

    I have a very nice principal story for you. When my youngest was in Kindergarten, he was and still is a little peach in school, always doing the right thing, following the rules, etc....(I think he learned his lesson watching his big bro get in trouble) anyhow....the principal wrote me a letter that went something like this...."Dear Mr. and Mrs. *****, Mrs. Rhyne recently shared with me how much she is enjoying having Jack in her class this year. She said that Jack is such a sweet, caring student. Jack tries to make sure that other children are treated fairly and kindly. Not only does he have the courage to point out situations where someone was not treated nicely, he is able to articulate why and how it could be made better. We are very proud of Jack and glad to have him in GHES. Well I can't tell you how tickled I was that she took the time to tell us that. She is an awesome principal.

  18. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

    Thanks Margie!

  19. missy // March 9, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

    Oh my gosh....that is a great story!!!!!
    And I have to say I LOVE moments like that!!! :)
    Hope you are having a great week!!!

  20. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

    Heck no Gregory! I had no clue what she was saying and I told her so. I wonder if she even knew what she was saying.

    I didn't see it happen but those that did sure did enjoy it. It is a little surprising that she did as a matter of fact. I will never forget them describing those heels going up in the air though. Wish I could have seen that...lol

  21. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 10:27 PM  

    Awwwwww Debbie,


    That is wonderful! For her to take the time to write that is commendable.

  22. VKT // March 9, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

    Thanks Missy! I am glad to be back in rugratland!

  23. Crystal // March 10, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

    Thanks for visiting me and for the ecouragment - I am now following you.

  24. VKT // March 10, 2010 at 9:11 PM  

    Thanks Crystal!

  25. loonyhiker // March 18, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

    I couldn't stop laughing when I read this. I had a student go with my paraprofessional to the asst. principal's office about a problem. The AP asked, "Did C. attempt to commit physical assault upon your body?" The kid looked at the AP blankly. The AP repeated the question and the kid replied, "huh?" Again the question was repeated. Finally my parapro asked, "Did C. say he was gonna beat your a$$?" The kid says, "Oh, yeah! Why didn't you just say so?" LOL

  26. VKT // March 18, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

    I guess that cleared up the confusion, didn't it.