Maybe you feel overwhelmed?
Maybe you feel that you are on the wrong path?
Maybe you feel there is a personality conflict?
Whatever the reason, feeling like you are not getting support from your administrator can be frustrating and can lead to a lower quality experience for your students. Not because you are not giving it your all, but as human beings, we can be worn down and that will take a toll on things. I get so many emails from teachers that feel frustrated and although I know that I do not know the entire story, it breaks my heart because I can feel the frustration from the other side of the screen.
Here is the thing…Administrators, in their heart, always want to help teachers be their best at what they do because they also want to serve students. People are learning and growing in all positions, even those that may be your “boss”.
So what can you do when you feel that you are not supported in doing your best work? Here are a few things that I would suggest.
1. Share that you are not feeling supported.
Sometimes the best path to solve a problem is a direct one. One of the things that I believed as an administrator is that I can’t solve a problem that I do not know exists.
In a respectful way, share that you are feeling you are not supported in your work and how you are feeling. Be clear on why you feel like that and why it can help.
If you hold onto it without communication it can lead to bigger problems in the future.
2. Identify ways that might help.
Again, the direct path is usually best.
Is there something that can be done immediately that might help you feel more empowered in your work? Is there something that can be taken off your plate that is not allowing you to do your best?
If you know a solution to the problem, it can help someone else understand the process that would best help. This doesn’t mean that someone should do exactly what you say, but sometimes providing solutions that make you feel supported might be something simple that someone else can do and could make all the difference.
But your solution might not be their solution. It is important to have some back-and-forth that helps both parties move forward.
Communication is key.
Now that you have worked out a plan, how will you come back and revisit how things are moving forward?
Maybe, you just needed to vent.
Maybe a plan was necessary.
Either way, administrators and teachers want to know if they are on the right path. Check later to see if things have improved or something else is needed.
Nobody wants to do a bad job. Not administrators. Not teachers. No one. People feel pressure from areas that others might not be aware of, whether it is personal or professional. After you have shared your feelings and worked on ways to move forward, take a step back and try to look at the situation as an opportunity for growth, not an obstacle that cannot be overcome.
Through all this, just a reminder that a little problem left unresolved can turn into a bigger problem later. Communication, direct but respectful, can solve things quickly and should not only lead to a better work environment for yourself but a better learning environment for your students which should be the goal for every person involved in education. Any administrator that wants to do best by students knows that they have to support the people that work closest with them.
Not all problems can be solved through this approach, but very few problems can ever be solved by ignoring them.
Keep that in mind as you move forward.
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