In response to the post, “Big Gains,” a reader writes:
“People who want to go slow do so for the sake of adult comfort. Going fast is good for kids but requires adults to become professional and proficient fast. That hurts. Going fast may mean making hard decisions. Do you give that teacher who is less than marginal another two or three years because they are close to retirement, letting them age out instead of confronting them? Or do you put that teacher on a growth plan?
My former high school, which I led to recognized academic standards, now has a new principal. She objects to growth plans for teachers “because that is how principals get fired.” This young woman has a serious moral flaw: she is a coward. She could decide to do what is right for kids, but that is uncomfortable for adults, and that could lead to conflict. If you are in a district that prohibits growth plans (yes, those kind of districts exist. In fact, there are a lot of them) get out and go somewhere serious about helping kids.”
Whenever I present, I start with the moral imperative (or as I now understand it, the moral equation) to change. The equation consists of two questions.
The first question is this, “Am I satisfied with the performance of my school (or district)?”
The second question is, “Am I willing to leave students behind?”
If you answer “No” to both of the questions, then you must change, and do so rapidly. Anything less than rapid change means that you are either compromising your principles or lying to yourself.
As for the comment about the principal being a coward, that may or may not be true. But what is true is that student success is not her number one priority (based on growth plan comment). And I find that to be a travesty to both the position and the profession.
Think. Work. Achieve.