In response to the post, “The Seany Craig Plan,” a reader writes:
“Stonewalling? Teachers? Surely you jest. Just yesterday, I had a teacher in my office with a resignation in hand. Two comments she made stood out. The first was she never saw the point of Marzano’s instructional strategies. The second was that it took five full months before the faculty realized the recent changes were not implemented by me (the principal) but were the ideas of the board and superintendent. This despite many meetings held to discuss the changes. Talk about isolation. Teachers want their autonomy. Many teachers isolate themselves to the point that they have no idea what the best practices are in their profession (Marzano), and fail to comprehend school changes even when they are included and informed.
I actually had a teacher (not a beginner) raise his hand this year during a faculty meeting and ask what I was referring to when I said “4×4 curriculum” (in Texas, 4 years of high school math, science, English, and social studies). I have teachers that think giving any test is automatically instruction at the “evaluation” level on Bloom’s taxonomy. We isolate ourselves from our profession to the point we are not even professionals.”
What you describe is why school leadership is a full contact sport and not for the faint hearted. But, I don’t lay all the blame at the feet of teachers. If just a handful of teachers on a staff act in the manner described above, then it is a personnel issue that can be dealt with in a fairly quick manner (at least within a contract year). On the other hand, if the majority of the staff is isolated and ill informed, then that is a system failure. System failures are the responsibility of leadership. Leadership has to change the system; drive the change; and provide support, training and oversight as the staff work to adopt the change.
It’s not easy, but if leadership does not step up to the challenge, neither will anyone else. That’s why this blog is called, “Lead Your School.” If you aren’t leading, you are letting the future of your campus to be decided by nothing more than luck.
For the record, when I write about school leaders, I am referring to anyone in a formal or informal leadership role. This can be anyone from a superintendent to master teacher.
Think. Work. Achieve.