Friday, August 05, 2005

Just go there with me, ok?

Okay, here we go:

If we invert the perceived power structure in our school district, and teachers become the highest eschelon of employee (as far as perception and delivery of services is concerned), then the following things will have to be accomplished:

  • re-train administrators (pricipals and assistant principals, to serve teachers. They should make eye contact with every single teacher in their building, every single day, and make sure those teachers' needs are being met. They need to make sure they listen to the teachers, and make sure they are happy. The administrators should do everything in their power to avoid asking teachers to do extra duty. They should do it themselves, to free the teachers to do their jobs. If subs are in short supply, the administrator should teach that day, instead of asking the teachers to do it on their planning periods.
  • re-train upper administrators, so that they serve building administrators. The building administrators will balk at their training, because currently they are accountable to upper administrators. They have to answer to them about test scores, curriculum, etc. Remove this from their duties. Building administrators are too busy serving teachers to compile data and fret over curriculum. The upper administrators need to do that job, or make sure it gets done. They need to serve the building administrators, instead of the other way around.
  • re-train the super higher-ups to serve the upper administrators. The higher-ups should serve the uppers by providing them with what they need to do their job. These are the people who get things done, but don't necessarily do it themselves. They instruct others to make things happen, toward the benefit of the upper administrators.
  • The highest ups, the Gurus, need to answer to all of these people, of course. They need to gather the experts to think of solutions for problems, and implement them. They need to listen to all sides of all stories, and make decisions that will support teachers.
It's all about support of teachers, because teachers are the people with the direct contact with the students. Teachers are the people with direct contact with parents, with the public. If we support the teachers as they should be supported, then great lessons and fabulous learning will follow. Increased test scores will follow.

How can we support teachers?

  • Pay them by merit. The current system that is being implemented is a nice first step, but it is not enough. This school district needs to be the first district in the nation to pay a teacher $100,000 on merit. If that happens, people will start lining up to work for us. We will then be able to choose among a vast talent pool, hand-picking the best teachers for our district. This will result in even better instruction, better experts from which to choose for staff development, etc.
  • Provide them the support that current higher-ups enjoy. This may take the form of a copy service, for starters. Office assistants may need to be re-trained to serve teachers, as well. They can make phone calls to parents, arrange meetings, organize their calendars for such meetings, etc. Certain positions in the district that now seem superfluous could be turned into office assistant jobs for teachers. These folks might also be able to provide the copy service. Hmm.
  • Provide teachers with a say in who their administrator is, and let them have a say in evaluating that administrator's performance.
  • Provide small, random motivational gifts to teachers, to show our appreciation of them.
  • Re-institute the Teacher of the Year idea, with teachers nominating each other, and have an awards ceremony every year, with very real prizes. The prizes and ceremony, etc. will be donated. The ceremony should be black-tie. The ceremony itself could be a fund-raiser for the district. Red carpet, paparazzi, everything.
I'm running out of steam for ideas. You comment now, and add to the list. Make it long and detailed.


  1. Anonymous12:06 PM

    Looks good to me...I wouldn't change a thing.

    Go get 'em, girl!

  2. I thought I said long and detailed! :) I appreciate the thought...but what else can we do?

  3. I don't have length and detail...everything looks wonderful! You know far better than I do.

    What would help is knowing what the average citizen can do to help teachers? I mean, you take in the community's kids for 6 hrs a day, 9 months out of the year and don't get paid for it very well. What are short and long term solutions a teacher would suggest for community support!?


  4. Well, for starters the average citizen can recognize that we have the kids for 7.5 hours per day, and usually longer because we help them after school. And the best thing the average citizen can do is always vote "Yes," on a mill levy or bond issue to give money to the schools. More money=smaller class sizes=better education=fewer criminals.