Amy Lynn Tompkins


New York

Amy Lynn Tompkins

Covering Hudson Valley Food


Principal Hotline: I Have a Staff Member Who is a Huge Tattletale

I have an attention-seeking behavior problem—and it’s not the kids. One of our new teachers comes to my office about once a week to report teacher infractions: This teacher yelled, and he could hear her voice through the wall. Another teacher left her class alone to run to the bathroom. Oh and by the way, did I know so-and-so has been late twice this week?
Principal Hotline Link to Story

Principal Hotline: “Why Is My Boss So Insensitive?”

I have been a vice principal at my school for a couple of years. Recently, I was sharing the details of a bad day with my boss. Her response? I feel that was insensitive of her and am wondering where to go next. I want to be able to be honest with her, but she doesn’t want to hear what I have to say.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: Can My School Admin Divulge My Private Information?

I’m the vice principal of a small school. My principal has a habit of informing everyone about who has called to say they will not be in for the day and why, and sometimes the reasons are medical. I find this disturbing. An accident kept me out of work for two days. I was told by some that the reason for my absence was divulged.
Principal Hotline Link to Story

Principal Hotline: How Do I Manage My Admin Assistant?

My administrative assistant was hired by my predecessor, and I’m having some difficulty managing her. She means well and is usually good with the students, but sometimes she can be so inappropriate. One day, she told a student not to pee on the seat when he came in to use the bathroom! It was embarrassing for people in the office, but most importantly for the child.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: How Can I Manage Cafeteria Behavior?

My cafeteria is out of control! I have four cafeteria assistants, but they cannot handle the disrespect, noise, and mess my students are leaving. We have 150 students in the cafeteria at a time. They eat by grade level, and it is a very small space. Any suggestions? Your cafeteria assistants are pinned down, outnumbered, and clearly losing hope.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: Too Great a Teacher to Be an Admin?

My assistant principal just accepted a principal position at another school, and while I am thrilled for her new opportunity, I now have a midyear hire to do. I’ve received some great applications for the position, some with strong prior leadership experience. However, I also have an inside candidate.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: How Can I Manage Teacher Cell Phone Use?

Cell phone use at our middle and high schools is creating a distraction from learning. I’d like to say this is our students’ problem, but it’s actually teacher cell phone use! I expect teachers to model good cell phone protocol when it comes to school. But, who wants to monitor everyone’s use of them?
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: What Do You Do When Kids Disrespect Subs?

An important part of leadership is reaching out to one’s peers for advice and support. All day, every day, our readers do just that. Here are some questions that came in on the principal hotline this week. Have your own question? Email it to I’d love some advice.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: What Do I Do if I Miss Teaching?

I wanted to be a principal since my second year of teaching, but now that I am one, I miss teaching so much. It’s not that I miss the frustrating stuff, like grading, but I do miss the family-like feeling and the daily interactions. I miss the fun, the stories, the really cool teachable moments. I miss coming in and finding out what happened with my students during the in-between hours.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: “Can I Unfriend My Teaching Colleagues On Social Media?”

I recently was hired to be the principal at the school where I’ve been a teacher for 12 years. As a teacher, I became Facebook friends with most of the other teachers and staff people at my school and in my district. Since my promotion, I’ve realized it’s probably time to unfriend these folks, but I’m not really sure how to go about it.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: Why Won’t My Boss Give Me Some Constructive Feedback?

I’ve been in a great assistant principal position for about four years. When I was recruited by the principal, he told me he planned to retire soon and that his plan was for me to then move into the principalship. And I could not be happier with this job. I get tons of good feedback, lots of autonomy, and have a great relationship with my principal, team, and colleagues.
School Leaders Now Link to Story

Principal Hotline: The Never-Ending Morning Drop Off

Here’s the story. I am new to my position as the principal of a large elementary school—this is only my second year. My predecessor was popular and had served the school for almost twenty years. Thus, I am being slow and deliberate. The previous administration allowed moms and dads to deliver their kids directly into their classrooms every morning.
School Leaders Now Link to Story


Amy Lynn Tompkins

Amy is a freelance writer and photographer living in the Hudson Valley. She currently pens Principal's Hotline (an advice column for administrators) at School Leaders Now and has been published by The Billfold, Living City Magazine, and In The Mesh. She was employed as a staff reporter by in 2013.

She has a bachelor of arts in liberal studies with concentrations in English, business, and psychology from Marist College, as well as an associate of applied sciences in paralegal studies from SUNY Dutchess. She studied Music Education at SUNY Fredonia School of Music.

She is continuing her education, studying journalism at SUNY New Paltz.

Her interests are indie music, education, social responsibility, great stories about strong women and her over-sized cat.



  • web management
  • content marketing
  • content writing
  • special education
  • Music
  • Entertainment
  • Education
  • Advice
  • Copy Editing
  • Copy Writing
  • Editing
  • Personal Essay Writing
  • Research
  • Podcasting