Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Monday, May 31, 2010

"I am proud of you!"

There is certainly a lot of staff drama in my school right now. End of school year student chaos aside, there have been an unusually high number of teachers being "surplused" whose positions will no longer be available at the school next year. There have also been a handful of teachers asked by the principal to step down from their leadership positions.

Sure, this can be an unfortunate reality for ANY school district under extreme budget cuts and crises, but the unprofessional and abrupt way our principal has handled these changes has been far from professional or ideal. Communication from top to bottom has consistently been an area of concern in our building, and everything has now come to a head. My co-teacher, who has been in the building for over 18 years, agrees that this is the lowest staff morale she has ever seen at our school.

So what, you may ask, can us teachers do about this dire situation to improve school culture and climate for everyone? Luckily, we have a very strong teachers' union behind us and a building representative who works tirelessly for our staff's happiness, fairness, and well-being. Late this week, she called a meeting with our union representative and staff. The result? A well-attended, very informative, productive, and eye-opening meeting that informed us of our rights and duties in working to improve the leadership and communication in our school. Essentially, she invited us all to send her anonymous comments, concerns, and examples of poor leadership, communication, decision-making, and judgment on the part of the administration. If she gets enough comments vocalized, she can proceed with a vote of "no confidence" from the staff to send to the higher ups.

As of late, the comments sent to her have only mounted, and I know for a fact that the ball is rolling for something to be done about the lack of clear and effective administrative leadership in our building. I am not normally one to use a single person as a scapegoat, but in this case, it is necessary and well-deserved, unfortunately.

Following that meeting, one of my colleagues came into my room and said, "I am proud of you for speaking up!"

"Thanks," I said, "I guess I am finally learning how to grow a spine here."

Boy, does it feel GOOD to learn how to be assertive and confident when it matters most in one's school building .... fingers crossed that it helps make a difference!!

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