Public School Principals: A Key Factor in Teacher Resignations

This message is for all the public school principals in the Philippines. As I am writing this article, I can’t seem to contain the mixed emotions I have for feeling terrible at the moment. I hope that all of you, if you can read this message, might try to figure out that most of your teachers are feeling this way, even if they can’t tell you in person. I am one of the many teachers in this country who feels this way because it is truly evident that you want us to “suffer” in this teaching field. So here it is.

The Role of Public School Principals

As public school principals, we see you as the strongest pillar that we can lean on every time we are in trouble, or so it seems. I did not realize until now that our stress and anxiety not only begin with the struggles we face inside the four walls of our classrooms with our students. In fact, the reality is that you are one of the reasons why many of our teachers are resigning from their posts right now. You consider yourselves leaders, but did you not realize that being a leader means balancing everything and seeing not only the welfare of the students but also your teachers?

Challenges Faced by Teachers

How come you are so tough and tight in your decisions that sometimes you become more controlling than the division itself? Or are these changes you impose on us also from your higher-ups and from the division itself? How can we be effective in our work when you are putting too much pressure on us that it becomes hard to breathe? We say that most of you are authoritative and opportunistic.

We respect you 100% as you are our highest authority inside the school grounds, but please consider us, your teachers. We are not robots; we are human beings. Are all public school principals like this, or are those newly hired principals only? We understand that the younger the principal, the more idealistic the visions. This is specific to those young and freshly hired principals who are very eager to climb up the ladder of promotion. Please do consider the feelings and emotions of your teachers. You are not the owner of DepEd; your salary is fixed, but why are you trying to suffocate us with your idealistic, futuristic but unrealistic dreams? Please wake up and consider balancing everything. Are you not aware that your teachers are already exhausted? They are resigning because you are pressuring them.

The Need for Consideration

The school year is not yet open, but here we are, already stressed out with the kind of school heads we have. They are the kinds of heads who don’t like their teachers to feel relaxed. They give more and more ancillary tasks to teachers even if the central office declares no more extra work for the teachers other than teaching alone. In short, they don’t follow the orders from the highest. So, tell us, who should we blame for this? The system? The highest officers? The central office or the school’s division? You said that teachers are going to teach alone and nothing else, but how come we have so many ancillary tasks? Where do we confide these matters when all of you, even the school’s division, are not hearing us? Why do you always make our lives more stressful?

You always say it’s for the good of the students, and it is evident you are pro-student; we don’t want to contradict that, but please be considerate to your teachers! We are exhausted and tired of you always giving us more and more paperwork other than teaching. We are on the verge of deciding whether we want to resign or not, but of course, resignation is very difficult, especially since this is the job we have made for ourselves. Public school principals, try to have a heart for your teachers. You always follow the lead of your district supervisors even if the decision is not good because you worry you won’t get a promotion. So, is it good to put all the pressure on us teachers? Wake up before these problems get the nerve out of the teachers who are now still silent.

A Plea for Better Leadership

We hate that you treat us this way. Stay on your ground. After all, we are not your slaves; we are professionals, and you only get the chance to be one step ahead of us. Just be a good leader, not a dictator. It’s not good to step on others just to prove you are an intelligent principal when the truth is not. Let us teach our students with ease, calm, relaxed, and concentrated minds. Please let us live healthily even though we are almost broke. – Mark | Helpline PH