In response to the 12/12/2010 post, “Poisonous Staff – Part 5,” a reader writes: I thought it was rather funny that one of the responses to this continuing saga of poisonous staff was to suggest that the writer find another school district to work for rather than some other option. Giving up is never an option that we as teachers suggest to our students, so why should anyone in authority suggest it? You are right about that principal being under much stress. But, you only create more stress when you are experiencing it. Stress gets even the best of us. I’d love to have LYS provide teachers, school districts and the like with ways to redirect each other in positive ways and make it so that we need and must do so. Being a LYS teacher should also mean: Work as a team. A unit. Know that each one of the team is vital to success. Never try to do a team member in. Always, always find a way to keep each team member up and find a way to relieve stress in a positive way rather than taking it out on your TEAM!!!!!! SC Response Let’s start with one of the first rules my grandfather (a very successful leader of men and women, both in the military and the corporate world) taught me. “If you have a problem with your boss, it is your problem, not the boss’ problem.” That’s why I advise if you do not agree with your boss and/or you cannot live with the direction the organization is heading in, that is your problem. Support the organization and your boss, or leave. I can respect either of those decisions. But I cannot condone someone who is unhappy with the situation, sandbagging or sabotaging. As adults, we have a choice of where we work and whom we work for. Exercising that choice is always a viable option. Students, on the other hand, do not have a choice of what school they will attend and who will teach them. Since they have no choice (relatively speaking), we have a responsibility (moral imperative) to teach them to the best of our ability. Every day, whether we are happy or not. Your suggestion that we work with educators on ways to reduce stress and support each other is part of our training and the support that we provide schools and districts. And the schools and districts that we have worked with for multiple years realize that this is the case. Unfortunately, in the initial stages of LYS training and support, there are those who are frazzled by the changes in their daily practice that they are trying to implement. Which is why we remind everyone that initially, all we are looking for is effort, because with effort the improvement will happen. Change is never easy, meaningful change even less so. We (LYS) know that, which is why we are there to support campuses in their attempts to improve. It is also why we don’t take it personal when people vent towards us. It’s just a natural part of the change process. Think. Work. Achieve.Your turn…Follow Sean Cain at the LYS Booth at the NASSP Booth (today)Hear the LYS Presentation at the Texas Middle School Association Conference (tomorrow)