The principal asked one particular teacher, in the hall outside her class during a busy passing period, if she went out for drinks after a sporting event a few weeks ago. The teacher wasn’t hungover, didn’t smell like alcohol, there were no students around, she wasn’t drinking before or at the sporting event, grades were in the book, kids were being taught (sometimes two classes at once because the other teacher quit), and the scores were some of the best in the district, so why the question?
What business is it of the principal or anyone else for that matter what a teacher does in their personal time? It it is not negatively impacting students or anything else teachers are contractually obligated to do, what right does anyone have to inquire about such things?
Sometimes it’s the little things that gets teachers through the day. It’s also, sometimes, the little things that make teachers want to leave. As much as principals, and even other teachers, like to judge teachers for leaving, how can you when the environment itself isn’t welcoming, enjoyable, or attractive? There’s no reward in this life for misery or suffering.
Simple solution for this principal: Mind your business. If you read more of those lesson plans you make your teachers turn in every week, you’d have less time to worry about whether your teachers prefer beer, wine, or liquor after they clock out for the day.
Of course, that's only one side.
Thinking about it from the principal's side, after hours activities do sometimes negatively impact the day. A long night can make for a very long and ineffective day in the classroom. Scandal for a teacher outside the school can make for a bigger scandal in school. From that perspective, I can understand an administrator having an increased interest in the personal life of their staff. Part of caring about your teachers and students is caring about the hours outside the school as well. That said, there are better ways to communicate that than suddenly and publicly in front of the teacher's students.
The assumption is that everyone is trying to do what's best for them. If you are having an issue with your principal, tell them. If they are an adult, they should be able to hear you and explain. Ideally, they'll also change their behavior as well. Good luck.
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