Another LYS reader shares a favorite Cainism…
“Here is my favorite Cainism…
‘Students do not abide by the dress code because teachers refuse to model a professional dress code standard after the first week of school. That is why we have to babysit teachers at times.’
(Spoken with vigor and anger at a leadership development academy in a large urban district and I loved it).”
Just a little context. In this district there is a standardized dress code for students. Many teachers use this dress code as an add-on harassment when they are documenting student misbehavior. Much like the expired inspection sticker ticket that is added on top of your speeding ticket. Couple this with the fact that as a whole, the instructional staff dresses rather shabby, day in and day out.
Here was my frustration and anger. Non-compliance with the dress code was the number one discipline referral. Yet, not one middle-class teacher (and though it may not feel like it, as educators, we are the middle class) was willing to model the dress expectation for a student population made up entirely of poor students. When I pointed out that the most powerful way to teach something is to model it, I was told that I just didn’t understand. It seems that in that district, as adults, they didn’t have to conform to student rules.
Then came my statement. For those of you who know me personally, you can see that I still was trying to maintain somewhat of a professional demeanor. Because rule number one for me and my team was and is, “If you are not willing to model what you expect, then don’t hold people accountable for meeting the expectation.”
Think. Work. Achieve.