Superintendent Greene calls for Team Duval, the “T” should stand for teachers

I hear all the times in education talks, students first, whatever is in the best interest of students, and this may not be popular, but it makes me cringe.

You see in education there are TWO paramount parties and neither are more important than the other and that is students and teachers. You can’t support or ignore one without likewise supporting or ignoring the other.

When I started the blog, this was my overriding thought, the better things are for teachers, the better things will be for their students. If you support and empower teachers they will do the same for their students, but if you marginalize, overwork, berate or so many other things that are common, well that will trickle down too.

On Tuesday the district and its partners put on a meet and greet for Superintendent Greene where she gave a fiery and impassioned speech and I have to say I am not a kumbaya guy, that is I don’t need a pep talk but after she was finished I was ready to get back to work, admittedly a feeling that quickly faded after I got back to my comfy couch and put on Netflix.

Me, notwithstanding, the speech however was genuinely great, and she sold the concept of Team Duval and she said she needed everyone to get on board. The community, parents, business leaders and teachers, that everyone has to work together to make the district what we know it can be, to realize the amazing potential that we have.

I agree with her, but at the same time, I think we have to start with the people who are doing the actual job, teachers, people who in Duval who have often been marginalized and disrespected by previous administrations. Willis did a great job, but the damage done before her was quite extensive and there is a lot of work left to do.

So this got long but I wonder why, Greene has not reached out to the staff, now she may be waiting for the year to begin, but I think a “hello” email laying out her vision, would go a long way and I wonder why after 19 days of employment, and I get it, she must have been busy but still, we haven’t got one.

Vitti admitted he thought teachers were easily replaceable cogs, he neither appreciated or supported the work being done by teachers. It was all about him. This superintendent cannot make that mistake, especially if as she claims, we are all on the same team.

I would encourage the superintendent to reach out to the district staff, and when she does pledge to listen to teachers ideas and concerns. If she can do this and then follow through then we will be well on our way to reaching the amazing potential the district has, but sooner or later if she is going to be as successful as we hope then she has to start building relationships with teachers.

To read more about the meet and greet, click the link: http://www.jacksonville.com/news/20180717/new-superintendent-greene-pitches-team-duval

3 Replies to “Superintendent Greene calls for Team Duval, the “T” should stand for teachers”

  1. Chris will you please show this as a new post?

    Duval District Needs to Explain Why Employees Have to Wait For Over a Year to be Paid

    Chris as we move towards the last few weeks before school starts, there appears to be a major problem in the district with employees not being paid for time worked. In the course of discussing my concerns with a few of my current and past colleagues, the one thing I found that we had in common was that we were not paid even after having filled out time sheets during previous Summer training periods; even if the person filled out multiple timesheets the problem persisted. Another thing that I found interesting is that most of the individuals worked at different schools, so it is indicative of a more systemic problem. Had individuals not brought attention to the problem, in all likelihood, no one would have been paid. In addition, I have talked to a few people who have retired or resigned, and they too indicated that they were either not paid or not paid correctly, and it was extremely hard to get a response from the appropriate district personnel. Although there has clearly been a turnover in some personnel, there is no excuse for not submitting time sheets for employees when they clearly have done the work! Teachers are routinely insulted on so many levels, but this is beyond ridiculous!
    In addition, the district has a routine habit of posting unannounced training information during the Summer that does not include pay information. Pay information should readily be posted for any and all additional training that is offered, along with the rate of pay and expected date of payment. This process would be most beneficial to teachers who have children and have to pay baby sitters, and all training should be included in the district training catalogs so that all teachers can plan accordingly.
    In addition to problems with paying teachers timely, some teachers have not received their bonus money for “passed” student certification exams in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years and no information has been released as to when it is supposed to happen. Again, teachers should have received that information by now, but nothing about the extra money has come from the powers that be.
    Finally, in an era when we are experiencing a technology revolution on so many fronts, there is no reason why employees should not be able to simply fill out their time sheets electronically to eliminate the need for the current paper-based, hide and seek, record keeping system. They should also readily be given any bonus information without the information being shrouded in secrecy. It is bad enough that teachers are not paid what they are worth, but to make them wait for over a year or more to be paid money they need and deserve is unacceptable!

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