Sunday, June 4, 2017

NYC Educator: Educational Leadership--The Right Person for the Job

NYC Educator: Educational Leadership--The Right Person for the Job:

Educational Leadership--The Right Person for the Job


Every day I read the education stories and some days they are simply amazing. Here's the story of an assistant principal who's a serial liar, scamming teachers for cash with various sob stories, getting caught, and then moving up to a better gig on Long Island.

Long Island, evidently, is a really cool place for aspiring supervisors. I remember the former principal of my daughter's junior high school not only for his overuse of the word, "illustrious," which I found disturbing, but also for getting caught somewhere having non-consensual sex with a 16-year old. Turns out he'd also lied about his criminal record. Go figure.

There's something called Sayre's Law, that posits academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. I wonder how many of us have seen this at work. I can't think of anyone I know who hasn't come across an abusive supervisor. Of course none of us are perfect, and none of us treat everyone fairly all the time. Some people now believe that the use of rubrics mandates fairness and precludes human shortcoming altogether. Of course those people are idiots.

I'm sensitive to stereotype, particularly since I see it so frequently directed against teachers. I want to be careful not to do the same to supervisors. Much as I hate to admit it, I've had positive relationships with my supervisors for most of my career. I'm also gonna go out on a limb here and admit that not all of us teachers are perfect. Sometimes we make mistakes. Let's take it a step further and admit outright that, despite all our complaints about supervisors, almost all of them come from our own ranks.

As such, we are not blameless. There are those of us on a mission to do whatever the hell we are told. When the DOE says the workshop model, or whatever, is the solution to all the ills of humanity, we do the workshop model every goshdarn day. If they say sit in a rocking chair for fourteen minutes, we make sure not to do it for fifteen, as that would likely as not precipitate the end of the world. I think, to be a good teacher or supervisor, there needs to be some level of vision or imagination independent of the top-down messaging that comes down from city, state, or fed. I can't imagine there are a whole lot of students running around saying, "Boy, that workshop model changed my life.Thank goodness Ms. Grundy used it fourteen minutes every single day without exception."

There are also those of us who long to escape the classroom. That's a hard one for me to fathom, because the most rewarding moments of NYC Educator: Educational Leadership--The Right Person for the Job:

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