Monday, August 20, 2007

Training with the Admin. Teams

I went to my first training as a member of my union's executive team, and I learned more about the administrators than I did about the evaluation process to be used this year.

It was a singular experience. I realized the following:

- my school's administrative team is way behind everyone else's. I believe there is a paranoia behind every decision they make and question posed to them. I sensed a CYA mentality first and foremost.

- my district's administrators don't like to follow through and don't meet deadlines. There was an emphasis on going through every step when "trying to dismiss or discipline an employee."

- all of the administrators who wanted to be noticed were also the ones who sounded the least competent. I got a feeling of desperation and inadequacy from four who just wanted to voice all of their good ideas. I felt bad for them.

- more will be asked of the teachers in my building, and they won't get the credit. During informal conversations sprinkling the room, I heard administrators share their new ideas, all of which will give them gold stars without having to do the dirty work.

- our bond will probably fail. I did not know that the building administrative teams held such a responsibility for getting people out to vote for the bond, and the number of people voting may not be enough to qualify the passage of a bond despite a favorable vote. They are desperate.

- I get a new evaluator! He's actually a friend of mine, even if he does now work for the Dark Side, and we will truly be able to share ideas about teaching. He was a great teacher and could help me improve.

- our overall evaluation process is a good one.

I still don't see a future growth of trust to occur in my building this year. I hope I'm wrong, but what I've seen--granted, a limited view--does not seem to indicate a real change in attitude or approach. What I've also heard from others in meetings with our administrative team is that more deadlines and duties are about to be announced at our first building meeting a week from tomorrow.

I am also curious to see how the union and the district administration works together. Traditionally, we have had a strong and positive relationship. I don't anticipate this will change.

My goal with my new union position is to be positive, to remain quiet as much as possible, to learn lots by listening (I love alliteration), and to understand my role.


The Science Goddess said...

As the Exhausted Intern pointed out in a recent post, we tend to forget that most admins went straight from the classroom to the office. They haven't necessarily had any more in the realm of effective professional development than anyone else, and yet they're looked to as the "instructional leaders" of the school. I hope that your experiences with them continue to be ones of learning and exploration for everyone---and stay positive.

Repairman said...

SG is right on the money. All education professionals need continuing education.

I admire your attitude in this role as well as in your teaching role, and I would encourage you always to lead by the best example.

DrPezz said...

You're both right, of course. My main obstacle to positivity is that the Boss Lady has lied to me and basically called me a liar, which has soured me on her. However, I was proved correct in the end and never received an apology. That bothers me.

Still, I need to look at this with fresh eyes leaving all that behind me.

Peter A. Stinson said...

Years ago I discovered a truth, one of those "there are two kinds of people" truths. This is a truth about leadership decisions. Some leaders make decisions because its the right thing to do; others make decisions to cover their own tails or make themselves look good or to not make waves.

You think the CYA hurts education, you should think about where I first came to this "truth" -- in a maritime rescue coordination center. Life and death decisions, literally, and some people make a decision in order to cover their own tail or not make waves. Ugly.

I'm glad I learned this truth, however, as it has helped me be what I want to be... Everyone is a role model... sometimes people are models of what I don't want to be.