In response to the posts relating to, “Teacher Stress,” a reader writes:
“All that teachers want is respect from all levels of administration and once in a while it would be a good idea for administrators to teach a class. Administrators do not have to be mean or bullies. I think we want the same thing success with our students. Show us the respect we deserve.”
I won’t lie to you and say that all administrators respect teachers. Obviously, some do not. But I have found that the administrators who seem to have the most respect for both teachers and the difficulties of meeting today’s accountability standards are the administrators who spend that most time in classrooms observing teachers.
I will also point out that in some cases the practical application of that respect is to keep the pressure on those in our field that are not meeting expectations. I’m a firm believer that the best thing I can do for motivated, hard working teachers is to get rid of the slackers. Depending on where you fall, that is either music to your ears or the meanest thing that you have ever heard.
I do find it humorous that you suggest the administrators teach a class. Not because I think it is a bad idea, but because I constantly advocate the idea. Just last week, I suggested to a rookie principal that she cover a class for a struggling teacher in order to let the teacher observe a much more effective peer. Nothing communicates more that instruction is pre-eminent, than the willingness of everyone to step up to teach a class when the need arises.
I will close with the statement that I shared with my staff every year, the day before classes resumed. “If you are willing to work everyday to both improve and meet the expectations of the district and your campus, then my job is to secure for you every tool and resource within our means. If you refuse to work to meet our expectations and refuse to try to improve, then my job is to find you and remove you. Our students and your peers deserve no less.”
Think. Work. Achieve.