Kansas State University


College of Education

Working with Your Administrator

principal and teacher working together

You’ve probably met with your administrators in formal as well as informal settings—the job interview, checking out the keys to your new classroom, etc.

But don’t forget that relationship even after you close your classroom door and begin teaching. The connection you have with him or her can be extremely helpful, especially during your first year of teaching.

Here are some key points to remember:

  • Your administrators want you to succeed, just as much as you do. They have invested time, energy, and finances to have you teach in their building, and they want it to be worthwhile for all involved. Your success also means fewer headaches for them, so believe them when they say they’re available.
  • That being said, don’t take advantage of the relationship; don’t waste his or her valuable time on trivial issues. Be selective when you turn to them for advice or to share information. Have others in the building who can provide support for the minor issues; go to the administrator when you believe it is an administrative level of support that is needed. Your administrator will undoubtedly be glad to assist, but keep in mind that he or she may have 40 or so other teachers to attend to, as well.
  • Student matters need the same type of selectivity on your part. If it’s a minor issue, try to handle it yourself in your classroom. If it’s something that can’t be handled that way—due to the severity of the situation or the repeated issues—then follow your building procedures, which may include contacting your administrator. As he or she understands you’re only contacting administration in selective situations, he or she will know to be attentive to your requests because they’re probably significant.
  • Appreciate the times your administrator visits your classroom—to observe you and your students, sometimes officially and sometimes not. He or she is using valuable time to check in with you to ensure you and your students are “flourishing,” as a favorite administrator once told me.