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Professional Development: 10 Ways to Stay in the Good Graces with Your School Administrator

Janelle Cox

As a teacher, it’s important to stay in good graces with your school administrator. You don’t have to be the teacher who is always at their beck and call, and you definitely don’t want to be the one that always complains. But, it is important that you use professional development strategies to stay on their good side. Here are 10 tips to help you do just that.

1. Be on Time. Being late to school, or late to a staff meeting, demonstrates lack of respect and shows that you think your time is more valuable than anyone else’s. Make sure that you are on time, or better yet be early. This will show that you value and care about your school district.

2. Dress Professionally. If you come to work in an outfit that looks like you’re ready to go to the gym, you’re not offering a good representation of the school. Dress appropriately to show administration that you have respect for yourself, as well as the school that you work at.

3. Read Your E-mails and Memos. Teachers are always getting bombarded with paperwork, e-mails, and memos. Make sure that you look at every message that you receive. The last thing that you want to do is miss an important e-mail from the school administrator. Also, be mindful when sending staff e-mails. Make sure you re-read your message before you hit the send button. You will not be on your principal’s good list if you send a drama-filled e-mail because you are frustrated or upset.

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4. Volunteer at School Functions. There is no denying that teachers lead a busy life, and it may seem like a lot to ask when your school administrator wants you to volunteer after school hours. But it’s important that you do it. The more supervision, the less chances anything will go awry. Your principal will take notice and it will make you get in their good graces.

5. Keep Control of Your Classroom. When the principal walks by your classroom, they want to see that you have a firm hold on it. There is a difference between having a loud classroom where students are engaged in their learning, and having a loud classroom where students are out of control. The principal knows the difference between the two. You want to be the teacher whose classroom is full of life and learning, not the one who can’t keep control of her students.

6. Stay Away from School Drama. There are teachers who spend their lunch hour gossiping about other teachers or complaining about school administration. Stay away from these teachers, it will get back to administration. Teachers who spend their time gossiping are most likely already on the principal’s list of people who are not in their good graces.

7. Communicate with Parents. This is an important tip to remember. Stay in constant contact with parents, especially the ones of students who need your extra help, or who are having behavioral issues. The last thing that you want is a parent doing to the principal and telling them that you are not keeping them updating in their child’s progress.

8. Get Your Grades in on Time. When it’s time to get your grades in, make sure that you have them in on time. You do not want the principal hounding you to get them in. Show them that you respect them, and be on time.

9. Be Flexible. Flexibility, this may be one of the most important qualities that you can have from an administrator’s point of view. If you argue with every new change or decision that ythe administration makes, then it will make you look like you are not a team player. It’s OK to give your opinion, but really be mindful of how often you are doing so. 

10. Be a Team Player. What makes a great team player? You must be dependable, open to criticism, friendly and kind, not be afraid to speak up or ask for help, as well as be a great listener. Administration will notice if you do not work well with others. So, make an effort if you want to stay in the good graces with your principal.

Following these tips will get you on your administrator’s good side, as well as make you a better teacher. Be mindful of staying out of school drama, complaining to other teachers, and learning to work as a team. This will only help you stand out and be the best teacher that you can be.

How do you stay on the good side of your school administrator? Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to hear them.   

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.