It’s not just teachers who have been known to be too strict.

There are also several outrageous examples of principals that have some pretty surprising rules for the teachers in their schools. It’s important to remember that principals are meant to be one of the greatest supporters that the faculty has. Unfortunately, this is not always the reality that teachers experience. Some of these eight strict principal rules may be well-intentioned, but for the most part, they all seem pretty off the wall! Let’s take a closer look!

Education resources


1. Weird sign-in sheets

Rather than going right to your classroom to get ready for the day, some teachers have to stop by the office first to sign in. This is one of the weirdest things we’ve ever heard of, especially the procedure at one school where the teachers are not only required to sign in but also to say “Good morning” to the principal! If you are a teacher with students who arrive before the principal, I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do. Leaving the classroom once you’ve settled to sign in or greet the principal doesn’t seem efficient.

Of course, this is nothing compared to one school’s policy where teachers must give 24 notice for any emergency.

2. Public shaming for being late?

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing went right, and you ended up running a few minutes late?

You may be publicly shamed if you’ve got an extraordinarily strict principal. No kidding. Once school officially begins, the sign-in book is replaced by a special shaming book for anyone who shows up late at more than one school. Some schools even require you to put the reason for being late.

I wonder how they feel when teachers write about a sick child or another family issue.

3. Draconian staff meeting rules

Can you believe some principals out there would lock teachers out of staff meetings rather than let them be a few minutes late?

We understand that chronic lateness is a serious issue, but sometimes even the most punctual among us run a bit late. Rather than lock teachers out, why not adopt a more understanding view? For some teachers, that’s a bridge too far.

4. No coffee for you!

There are fewer treats in life more enjoyable than a fresh cup of coffee to get our mornings going. Can you believe that there are principals out there who forbid coffee at their schools? We think that this qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment!

There are so many stressful factors that happen on a teacher’s day. Why take away one of the reliable perks?

  • Coffee has many health benefits
  • Caffienation is important!
  • Coffee makes mornings better

5. We don’t like your water bottles

We’re not sure why, but we’ve heard reports of principals who have banned water bottles.

We’re not sure about the logic of this rule. Drinking water throughout the day is a great way to stay hydrated and sharp, and reusable water bottles are a great way to model eco-consciousness to students. Why any principal would want to discourage teachers from bringing in their reusable water bottles is beyond us.

Funnily enough, the first time a water glass or coffee mug tips over and ruins a computer, this rule prohibiting water bottles is long gone!

6. Parking lot blues

Can you believe that some principals’ micromanagement extends to the parking lot?

Don’t try to park between two spots or spend too much time chatting on your way into the building, or you may find yourself on the receiving end of an administrative nastygram. If you are a teacher starting at a new school, you are well-advised to find out if you are expected to back in, as parking wrong can put you on the principal’s naughty list. If we ever find ourselves at a school like this, we’ll probably take the bus to work!

7. Copier privileges aren’t always for everyone

If you are in a cash-strapped school district, you may have an office staff that monitors your paper and copier usage. We’ve heard about instances that include a teacher stowing copy papers in their car trunks because it is such scarcity. Don’t let an office staff bully you. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to make copies, and it’s time to brave through those dirty looks and get the job done.

8. No negativity, ever!

As important as it is to keep a positive attitude, “outlawing” negative talk is ridiculous! Some principals have this rule in place and expect teachers to report each other in true Orwellian style. We’ll pass!