In response to the post, “Brezina Writes… (Latest School Rankings – Part 4…“, a reader writes:
“At our school, many teachers say that students are put in their classes to cause a teacher to fail. If that is a strategy that is being used, that is unprofessional and can only harm the entire school. It causes dissension among the teachers that have had this done to them to those whom have not had that done and creates an almost hostile environment toward those teachers and then those same teachers use the system to keep their jobs or to cause more harm to others. Then you have an administrator that has not used LYS to cause success and positive interactions. You just have bad management. When this type of system is in place it only causes a school to fail.”
First, let me say that I have never worked with a campus leader that has scheduled students in a class for the purpose of making a teacher fail. I have yet to meet a principal that is willing to write off a whole class of students just to run off a teacher. In fact, I find the opposite to be true. Almost every principal I have worked with does their best to make sure that student exposure to bad teachers is minimized and exposure to good teachers is maximized. That means that often the best teachers are assigned the toughest kids. What I remind principals is that when they do that, they have to keep the heat on the teachers that don’t have the tough kids, otherwise you are punishing competence and rewarding incompetence.
Now what I have seen is a principal move a teacher she doesn’t like to cover the ISS class. This earns my immediate scorn and displeasure. My belief is that my absolute best teacher (Hello, Coach Boyd) has to be my ISS teacher. After all, that is where my most academically fragile students congregate.
In regard to your campus, what you have to consider is who is doing the complaining. Is it the rookie teacher who has the toughest intro level classes? Or is it the tenured teacher who is asked to teach a tough section along with an advanced or honors section? Some teachers feel that they have “earned” the right to teach senior AP English, and then convince themselves that those classes are successful only due to their “master teacher” status.
If it is the latter, my advice is to do your best to ignore the chatter. They will eventually get happy when their students start to perform, or they won’t and they will leave. It will depend on what they value more, student success or adult comfort. On the student centered campus, in the long run, both options are acceptable.
Think. Work. Achieve.