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