This is not the most pleasant topic, but I think it is important for teachers to have an idea about what it would take to make them quit their job or leave a school. Maybe there is nothing that would ever make that happen for you. If that is the case, then you don't need to think about this. If there is nothing that would make you quit, though, you should at least have an idea about things that you are willing to take a stand for.
This may seem like an extreme thing to say, but it is not uncommon for teachers to be asked to do things that may be considered unethical, illegal, or just unpleasant. I recently had a conversation with a teacher who said that her biggest regret in her teaching career was letting an immoral and unethical administrator ruin the profession for her. Wow! This kind of thing should never happen, but the reality is that it does. And it probably happens more often than many people realize.
Here are some possible things that might be worthy of taking a stand for:
Being asked to change a grade. This one never happens for the sake of a star athlete, a student with connections, to improve graduation rates, etc. Right. If you believe that I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.
Being micromanaged. Nobody likes a boss looking over their shoulder, but this is especially true of teachers. Teachers like being in charge, not having a babysitter.
Being treated like a child. Many administrators got their starts as teachers themselves. While this may help them relate to teachers, they are also used to being in charge of children, not adults.
Being asked to help students cheat. This one has been in the news recently. Unfortunately, becoming a teacher and/or school administrator does not automatically make a person moral.
Maybe there is something not on this list that would apply to you. Maybe for you it's being asked to teach something you don't want to teach, or being asked to change schools, or being asked to coach, or whatever. Whatever makes your list is up to you.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great and ethical administrators and school principals out there. I hope that you are lucky enough to work for one. If not, though, I think it is wise to know where you stand on certain issues before they occur. The question then becomes, is it worth you leaving your job for?
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