Ask a teacher how they feel about their school’s principal and watch their reaction. You may see their eyes well up with tears of gratitude. They may put a hand over their heart and whisper reverently, “My principal is amazing.”
They may do one of those wobble motions with their hand, frown slightly, and say, “Eh. They’re OK.”
Or they may sigh, close their eyes, and check their pulse to see exactly how much stress this question put on their cardiac functions.
I know. I’ve worked under all three. (Get exactly half a margarita in me and I’ll divulge stories about the worst ones that will make you gasp.)
Several years ago, a Forbes article brought to the forefront a notion that had long been circulating: people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. As teachers, this makes perfect sense to us. We not only receive leadership from others, we provide it to our students. We understand—better than a lot of professions, I’d argue—the personal responsibility we carry in shaping an environment for our “employees.”
There are countless books and articles about what the best leaders and managers do to retain teachers. But sometimes knowing what not to do goes a long way, too.
It’s more important than ever for principals to know how to keep their talent instead of driving them out. Feel free to send this article to your principal today with their biggest areas for improvement highlighted! (No, no. Please don’t do that.)
7 Ways Principals Drive Their Teachers Out
1. They’re out of touch with the demands facing teachers.
A few leaders I’ve met have made me wonder if there’s a conveyor belt for teachers moving into leadership roles where their memories get wiped of the time, energy, and talent required of good teachers. Before long, they find…