In response to the post, “A Problem with a Co-Worker,” a reader writes:
“Or there is scenario 5. The principal leader knows, understands and shares your frustration. She has addressed the issues not only numerous times with the person in question but also with Central Office. Central Office has “tied her hands” and in so many words has said “live with it.” The principal has no choice but to keep the person and work to minimize the negative impact to the campus.”
You are correct. I ignored that scenario because it boarders on negligence. I’m going to draw a line in the sand. Retaining marginal staff has nothing to do with teacher contracts. It has everything to do with subjective systems and weak and/or inept leadership. Let me explain,
1. I am not an advocate for firing people based on subjective measures. It is the job of leadership to set forth objective performance measures, coach staff to be successful and hold those who prove to be “uncoachable” accountable. To not have such a system in place is a failure of leadership.
2. If someone proves to be “uncoachable,” then that employee should be removed. To not do so is a failure of leadership.
So where is this leadership failure? The reader hit the nail on the head. The failure is generally at the central office level or higher. As I have explained to more than one school board, the inability to remove toxic staff members is due to either poor documentation policies (leadership failure), lack of will (leadership failure), or retaining a weak lawyer (leadership failure). To remedy the situation, pick the relevant area of failure and correct it. To not do so places the needs of weak leaders and marginal staff ahead of the needs of student and hard working, dedicated educators. If you find yourself working in a setting such as this, I would seriously consider moving to a different district.
Think. Work. Achieve.