In response to the post, “Who Really is Not Getting the Job Done – Part 3,” a reader writes:
“It sounds to me like this poster agrees with Cain, but does not want to fully commit. All teachers do want strong leadership, because I was a so-called “expert” high school teacher, and my colleagues and I craved solid leadership. Unfortunately, that leader had to almost be Hitler to get the staff’s attention. A real wake up call needed to happen and nothing got the staff’s attention more than seeing an entrenched teacher get fired.”
I think what the poster was attempting to articulate is that on some campuses (especially the ones that have been stagnant in terms of performance), there are staff that are just hiding out and collecting a paycheck. This behavior is not just confined to teachers. In fact, if the behavior is prevalent in the teacher population, then it is assuredly evident in the ranks of administration.
If you are a new leader (department chair, assistant principal, or principal) in this situation, to the organization, you are the cancer. And you will be attacked, as such. However, I have never witnessed a campus where there wasn’t some staff that was still fighting the good fight (and I have worked with the most dysfunctional schools in Texas). You, as the leader, have to identify those staff, motivate them, support them and protect them. Provide them cover, so they can do their job. That is why you are getting paid the medium sized bucks.
I remember meeting with the original poster four years ago when he was taking over an entrenched, dysfunctional, and academically unacceptable campus. I told him that he had less than three years. Either he would do what was necessary to right the campus, and he would be hated and fired. Or, he would not do what was necessary, the campus would not be righted, and he would be viewed as weak and fired. On one path, he could look himself in the mirror and get another job. On the other path, he would make compromise after compromise and his career would end before it even started.
He took the path of true leadership, moved his campus from unacceptable to recognized and was run out of town to a bigger school and a larger paycheck – in less than two years.
The point is, true leadership isn’t easy and the rewards are not guaranteed. But, if you don’t step up, who will?
Think. Work. Achieve.