I also think that the success we have in the district often happens in spite of the district’s administration not because of it.
Now with all that being said let me present just a few of the ways that the district makes teachers hate their jobs.
When I first started teaching my lesson plans could fit in a small box on a weekly calendar and maybe that wasn’t enough, but you know what we don’t need? Two page 8 font monstrosities. Elementary school teachers are telling me they are expected to have lesson plans for their centers now, FOR THEIR CENTERS! The district needs to wake up and realize lesson plans aren’t for random administrators to see when they walk in, they are to help remind teachers what to do.
Anchor charts or whatever they are calling this years standards based bulletin boards. The things they want up in all the classes that only have a peripheral relationship to teaching.
If you got queezy or dizzy looking at that, I feel you. The district forcing teachers into doing hour after hour of busy work just so all the classrooms can look uniform is ridiculous. This “Stepford Wives” answer to education wastes what little time teachers has and destroys creativity and innovation in the process.
Not supporting teachers when they tell administrators what is best for their children. I hear all the time that teachers think their kids need to go out and play more, just be kids. The district doesn’t understand there are diminishing returns from two and a half hours of ELA a day. Then there is the pacing guide too. It doesn’t give teachers time to reteach, do knowledge checks, or allow for flexibility or creativity. If a teacher says my kids need more of this and less of that then we should trust them as they are both professionals and know what’s best for their children. Yhe district however would rather browbeat and threaten teachers into complying.
District walk throughs. Gaggles of district staff showing up to micromanage and criticize teachers. They aren’t there to offer assistance and to see what teachers need but instead belittle and break then down. Ironically most of these people have been out of the classroom for years.
Blatant disrespect. Area superintendents like Kim Bays and Iranetta Wright have reputations for talking down to teachers. The superintendent has marginalized teachers many times in the media as well. You know what happens if those three take a day off? Nothing, life goes on but if Mrs. McGuillcutty at PS 109 takes a day off those kids lose a day of instruction. My point is the classroom teachers is the most valuable member of the district and its time administrators treated them that way.
I could go on.
We are never going to be the district we could be as long as the district’s leadership continues to micromanage and marginalize its teaching staff.