In response to the 8/3/11 post, “Recruiting New Teachers,” a reader writes: Though I have not taught for long, I started following Lead Your School when I was in college and this is my first post. As a beginner teacher, I have not fully understood what is going on in our profession, nor did I want to take the time to care. However, that thinking changed today. I am currently working on my Master’s degree and this week’s assignment was focused on professional learning communities. The articles that were assigned to us talked about the importance of collaborative communication. We, as professionals, are to “support the notion that talk itself is a form of learning that can lead to change in thoughts and action” (Nieto, 2003, p. 124). Therefore, I realize that I can no longer be on the sidelines when it comes to my profession; it is time for me to talk. In today’s blog you talked about how people, particularly politicians, are undermining teachers and believe that teachers are a commodity. However, we as teachers are not doing all that we can to change their perception. It’s no secret that we have “low pay, high stress, and no appreciation from the public and our elected leaders for the work we do.” But, that’s not why I chose this profession. I chose it because I truly believe that I can make a difference in the educational system. I enjoy a challenge and to me, society is challenging me to prove them wrong in their thinking. I want to tell my story and the story of my campus. I want people hear what it is like for a teacher, new or experienced. Being a part of this network lets me know that I am not alone in my big dreams and big ideas; it provides a support and strategies. Therefore, I want to thank you and the LYS Nation for giving me the opportunity to finally talk. I feel much obliged! SC Response First, thanks for taking the time write in. I always appreciate the thought and the effort. Second, I might debate a little bit with Nieto on the value of talk. I actually value “doing.” I was recently talking to a principal who was worried that all of his talk wasn’t changing the hearts of his teachers and community. I told him that I gave up on changing hearts a long time ago. Now I work to change practice. Change the practice long enough and the heart will follow, or leave. Either one improves the organization. And us our mothers all taught us, “Actions speak louder than words.” And that is what you are doing now, acting. Sending in your post is a new and purposeful action. Educating your neighbor on the importance of investing in schools is a new and purposeful action. Making education the litmus test for your vote is a new and purposeful action. I want to close with this, as educators we get to observe daily (with students, parents, and occasionally our peers) that people project on others their sins, attitudes and beliefs. The student who whines the most about others not sharing, usually has the biggest problem sharing. The parent who complains that her child (or herself) is a victim of gossip is often a big gossip. It is an element of the human condition that those of us in the people business quickly learn to recognize. I point this out for this reason. The attempts to increase revenue by closing corporate and personal tax loops holes have been characterized by the far right as “Class Warfare.” An interesting observation from those who are advocates for cutting funds for education, public service, health, medical, and infrastructure. The Right doth protest too much, methinks. 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! Follow Sean Cain and LYS on Come visit us at the LYS Booth at the TASA/TASB Fall Conference on 9/30/11 and 10/1/11 Attend the LYS presentations at the Texas School Improvement Conference on 10/26/11 and 10/27/11