There seems to be no question that there will be stimulus money heading towards schools. Here are some random thoughts to consider:
1. You don’t need more money to get better. Getting better starts with creating an environment conducive to education (clean, orderly and organized) and changing adult practices.
2. Don’t be held hostage by people saying they’ll do more when they are paid more. The people who say that aren’t there for the kids and even though educators aren’t the highest paid employees in the country, their jobs are still safer than most right now. Be grateful and get to work.
3. If and when the money shows up on your campus, don’t just automatically use it to hire more staff. Consider tools and training. Better teachers generally make a bigger impact on students than more teachers.
4. Fund the things that show promise, quit funding the things that don’t. For example, if you still offer a “typing” class, this is the time to cut it and move on.
5. Strive to make your campus self-reliant. When I was a principal, we took over our own landscaping and minor maintenance and repairs. We also did a lot of in-house training and book studies. We could do it all cheaper and faster. This meant that we did more than everyone else – for the same money. Being effective and efficient means having more control over your destiny.
6. The stimulus money may be a once in a career opportunity to do something spectacular to change the face of education. Don’t squander the chance.