Reader’s Write… (You Can Do It, Quick)

I’m moving these comments to the front of the line, because evidently I offended some readers. So here’s the first comment:

“Sean,

I understand the need for success stories however this is not one of them. You may end up with egg on your face if this blog continues to be available. Your second sentence in the first paragraph says it all, “We both know that they did all the heavy lifting and hard work.” After reading your response, LYS has lost all credibility.”

SC Response
I re-read my comment. First, I agree that it is a bitter sweet post. A campus that has made tremendous gains is losing an effective leader. That is tough and in a perfect world, that wouldn’t happen. But it does and as my father-in-law, constantly reminds me, “No one is irreplaceable. The work doesn’t go away and someone else will step up and do it.”

Second, here are the points that I was trying to make:

1. The success of the campus ultimately rests on teaching and learning, that is teachers and students. All the training, motivation, programs and management techniques in the world mean nothing if teachers don’t connect with kids and kids don’t respond to teachers.

2. This principal was the catalyst for change. But it was his staff and students that produced.

3. That the changes that led to improved adult practice and student results were not easy, but this principal stayed the course and his teachers and students rose to the challenge and exceeded everyone’s initial expectations.

4. I, and LYS, advise, problem solve and coach, but we can not and will not take the credit for the fruits of someone else’s labor.

If I was unclear on this I blame poor writing, which is my fault. If I was clear, then I can live with losing some credibility. But, and I mean this with all sincerity, thank you for calling me on the carpet. This is a forum of ideas and beliefs. As such, they need to be challenged.

The next three comments were a similar. One was excited because the person believed I was talking about her campus. One wanted to clarify some facts that I misstated. And one said that I completely misrepresented what situation in that person’s district. So here goes:

First reader, from your e-mail address, I wasn’t talking about your district.

Second reader, from your e-mail address, not only was I not talking about your campus, I didn’t know your principal was leaving.

Third reader, your comment came in as “anonymous,” so I don’t know what district you are in, so I can’t respond.

But, this brings me to a blog rule. If I state a campus or district name, you know exactly who I am talking about. I only use names when the information can’t be used to hurt a person, campus or district. If the story or information could be hurtful to a person, campus or district, I mask the information. I do that to maintain a level of confidentiality and because the purpose of this blog is to build and support, not tear down.

But again, thank you for questioning me. If I misstate, misquote or just flat out miss it, I want to correct it. We are all accountable.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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A Reader Submits… School Dysfunction

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