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Friday, February 5, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: Pandemic Lesson #1: Trust Matters

CURMUDGUCATION: Pandemic Lesson #1: Trust Matters
Pandemic Lesson #1: Trust Matters

There are many lessons to be learned from this mess, including lessons about the usefulness of government. Also, I'm sure, plenty of scientific disease stuff.

But I notice that, particularly in the education arena, we keep coming back to trust. Black and brown families are hesitant to return to school buildings because they aren't sure they can trust the institutions that have failed them so often before. Teachers are reluctant to return to the buildings in those districts where they don't believe they can trust their district to keep them safe and/or follow through with their promises to do so. Critics of teachers unions don't trust (or at least pretend not to) teachers to do their jobs, or to even want to do their jobs. And distance learning, lacking the immediacy of face-to-face gathering in the same room, suffers from students and teachers unsure of just how much they can trust each other.

Where trust is strong, these issues shrink to insignificance. And that provides a major--well, two really--lesson about trust.

Trust is a basic, absolutely essential part of the foundation of a functioning school (any workplace, really--go reread the works of W. Edwards Deming). It has been demonstrated time and time again (here's a source for examples). And yet so many leaders resort to the stick, to management based on fear and distrust. 

I've watched school administrators who approach every discussion with staff worried first and fore CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Pandemic Lesson #1: Trust Matters