In response to the 8/12/11 post “Teacher Nests – Part 3,” a reader writes: The biggest bunch of bull I have ever read in my life. In order to de-nest, it will take hours away instruction; and to keep the classroom de-nested, likewise. This entire nesting theory of yours is just another way to micromanage your teachers. At a time while morale is at its lowest in the State of Texas, you come up with this idea in order to kick your teachers just a little harder while they are down. SC Response It’s almost as if you didn’t read the posts, or you are trying to make my case. Regardless, first, as I pointed out, this topic causes more consternation than any pointed discussion on instructional rigor. Why this is the case is beyond me. Really, if you want to create a classroom environment that distracts from learning and makes your job more difficult, that is your prerogative. However, I will keep pointing out that the practice of creating an environment that enhances the delivery of instruction is a good for teachers, but most importantly, it is good for students. Second, are you really trying to make the case that it would take you hours to clean and organize your workspace and classroom? And are you trying to make the case that maintaining a clean and organized classroom is a bad idea? Third, I state that the presence of a nest is inversely correlated to time spent in the Power Zone. Since you claim that is “Bull,” I’ll better illustrate this inverse relationship. In typical secondary schools, while students are in classroom, teachers are observed at their desk 40 to 75% of the time. In secondary schools that focus on maintaining effective classroom learning environments and pay attention to time spent in the power zone, observed desk time is often reduced to less than 15%. Thus, creating an inverse correlation. Now correlation is not causation. Which means that other factors than just reducing A could be cause for the increase in B. But if doing one makes it easier to do the other, then why would I reject the practice out of hand? Fourth, perhaps your “Bull” statement was targeted towards my statement that time spent out of the Power Zone distracts from the delivery of instruction and the acquisition of knowledge. Again, I’ll just use facts to make my case. Increasing the amount of time a teacher spends in the power zone is correlated to an increase in on-task behavior and a decrease in discipline issues. If you are against these two things occurring in your classroom, simply maintain routines and practices that deter you from getting to and staying in the power zone. Fifth, I don’t see this as a micro-management issue. In fact, I framed this work as a collaborative issue that requires administrative modeling if it is to be appropriately addressed on a campus. I would argue that this is the exact opposite of all to typical “Do as I say, not as I do” micro-managing. But if you have never had a chance to work with a staff that is completely focused on increasing student performance, or have never worked for a leader that leads by deed and example, I can understand why this could seem to be intrusive to your current practice. Finally, as for kicking teachers when they are down, the Governor, Lt. Governor and Legislature are doing just fine. They don’t need my assistance in disparaging and discouraging the profession. I, on the other hand, completely understand that it is tough to be an educator right now. Which is why I’m doing everything I can to show teachers how small changes to their current practice will make measurable changes in student performance. Because bottom line, with the increase in accountability standards, increase in class size and decrease in support and resources, if you do what you have always done, you are going to fail, burnout and/or quit. All of which I, and the rest of the LYS Team, are working every day to try to prevent. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/4ydqd4t Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation

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