I work in a number of districts that have active teacher associations. In these districts, it is generally accepted that the associations are the reason that nothing ever changes. It becomes everyone’s excuse of choice. For example, your will hear,

“We would do that, but the Association would fight it,” or

“The Association won’t let us get rid of bad teachers,” or

“The Association doesn’t care about kids.”

What is interesting about the above excuses is that when change effects the way leadership has to conduct its business, the concerns about a contrary Association are bandied about more, not less. The local teacher association becomes the crutch of the weak and ineffective school leader.

The pattern I am observing more and more is that teacher associations are used by all parties as the reason to maintain the status quo and not feel guilty about it. For the record, I believe that teacher associations are dangerously close to having outlived their usefulness. They exist solely to advocate for the needs of adults in a system that must be (though still is not) focused on students first, second and always. But in my experience, schools failures are leadership failures not teacher failures.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…