4 Questions Teachers I Have for Administrators

Photo by AVAVA/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by AVAVA/iStock / Getty Images

By S.C Horton- Guest Blogger

Being a teacher in a public school system for 16 years, I have had the opportunity to work under several administrators, each dynamic in his or her own way—varying in strengths and weaknesses. The administrators that have had the most impact on my practice, however, were the administrators that were teacher friendly. By this I mean that those particular administrators were respectful of the expertise and skills I brought into the classroom. Through the teacher friendly administrators I was afforded many leadership opportunities and chances for further growth as a professional.

As teachers, we must be willing to take an active position as specialists in our field, regardless of whether or not we view our administrators as “teacher friendly.” In order to do this, it is important that we understand our administrators’ perspective on educational issues that affect both our teaching practices and the overall climate of our relationships. The following questions are helpful in beginning the conversation with your administrator and to help open your understanding of what he or she expects from you as an educator.


1. What is your personal definition of education?

I ask this because not everyone has the same definition or idea of what education is or supposed to be. I feel that knowing your administrator’s definition will give insight as to why he or she makes certain decisions that affect the school.


2. Explain your personal vision for the school.

In many cases, the school vision that is mounted in school hallways and printed on bulletins was created by someone other than your current administrator and put in place before he or she arrived at your school. Hearing his or her perspective of the direction in which the school should go will help you find your place within that vision.


3. Define the role of the classroom teacher. What do you expect to see when you come into my classroom?

The goal here is to remove all confusion as to what your administrator expects from you. If there are discrepancies of his or her expectations and how you view your role as an educator, this is a great time to address those issues.


4. In what ways, outside of the classroom, can I be of assistance in fulfilling your vision for the school?

Teachers are highly trained professionals and should be treated as such. For teachers, this is your opportunity to find out where you can demonstrate your expertise outside of the classroom. This is also a good time to volunteer your skills in an area of your interest.

Relationships between teachers and administrators are often strained, but that does not have to be the case. Open the lines of communication between you and your administrator, and see the difference it will make for you, your administrator, and your work environment.

Do you feel like you have an approachable Principal? What questions would you like to ask your administrators?  Comment below. 

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**S.C Horton is a 16-year veteran secondary school teacher in Cleveland, Ohio.

Why Planning Period

Photo by AVAVA/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by AVAVA/iStock / Getty Images

The planning period is one of the most sacred parts of a teacher’s day.  To some people, planning time is when you eat lunch, make copies, use the bathroom and decompress.  It’s one of the first things teachers want to know about their schedule for the upcoming year.  When I worked in an elementary school, I loved the days when my students had multiple specials in a day. Of course, that meant that there would be days when there were no specials and a very long school day. When I worked in the high school, I longed for a planning period that would be near lunch or last period.

While teachers use their planning periods for a variety of tasks, many of us have built-in routines for when we grade, plan or make copies.  I did most of my planning at home after school and made copies before I went home for the day. I usually spent my planning time talking with colleagues, seeking help with students, going over principal demands, aligning lessons with my team and co-teachers or seeking help to improve my lessons from teachers I trusted.

So why name this blog “Planning Period”?  Well, it is our goal to share insights and helpful hints with teachers and educators that they can quickly ready during their planning period.  We will feature posts about current issues in education, clarify teacher evaluations, show you classroom organizational tips and reveal ideas that you can use while in class. We will talk about issues and legislation that affect teachers. And we will feature occasional feature guest bloggers so that we can learn from each other and gain from different perspectives of teaching.

At Be Ready, we love educators because we are educators.  So that's why we make products and offer services that teachers need. Our products are easy to use and adaptable for all teachers. Our services and consulting packages are created to prepare and equip you with tools and tips to incorporate in your classroom. We know what administrators want to see when they come into your classroom and we want you to be prepared.