In response to the posts relating to “Gant Wisdom 1,” a reader writes:
“SC, we will have to disagree on this one. Once a faculty gets a strong sense of family, the principal may be in trouble. The “family” in dysfunctional schools typically does not include students. Take two districts of which we are both intimately familiar. Both districts have expended tremendous energy and policy decisions making the schools great places for employees to work. There is a true sense of family. Yet the schools are horrible for kids. In previous schools I have worked in there was a tremendous sense of family, not including kids of course. Collegiality is what we need, not congeniality.
We must come together and work together for a common purpose. That purpose must be to improve our schools for kids. Congenial schools that I have seen ALWAYS have focused on making the school better for adults. Example: we get together, talk all day about how to make things better for kids, and then go to happy hour and enjoy each other’s company. That is collegiality.
Or, we get together, spend all day “bonding,” focusing on each other. That is congeniality. The only difference is the purpose of the day. Having served in the military and in law enforcement, I can tell you we were truly colleagues. We trained together, did our duty together, and often bled together. We loved each other like brothers, but we always had a common purpose.
In congenial relationships the purpose is what is often missing. The difference is subtle, but significant. As you say, SC, the difference is in the nuance. Having experienced both, I fully understand the nuance.”
The source of our disagreement is the eternal question of whether or not the glass is half full or half empty and the context of position. Where you are, the glass is half empty (and held together by duct tape). Where I am, the glass is half full (and held together by duct tape).
We are in total agreement that where you are now is in the final death throws of total system failure brought on by leadership incompetence that best resembles Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Get out and let it burn.
But from my position, the failure of that same system has the potential to save 100’s of other districts. I am more that willing to let the aggressively incompetent serve as the “what not to do” example for those who are willing to push themselves and their organizations to maximize student potential.
Think. Work. Achieve.