August 23, 2011

When administration sucks the life out of teachers

The new school year started yesterday with our usual district-wide convocation. This is when all teachers and staff meet in our high school's auditorium to hear the superintendent talk about the coming year.

Sadly, in recent years, this has become a time to discuss our failings on the state-mandated standardized test.
Courtesy: Penn Political Review
Year after year, it's the same thing: we're labeled as "average," "below average" "above average," or "excellent." The "good" schools are praised, and the "below average" ones are vilified in front of the entire districts and local politicians. Then, we're informed that this year will be different, because we have some tremendous new program that will magically get students to pass the test.

All this manages to do is suck the life out of teachers. Instead of looking forward to the energy and fresh ideas that most teachers return with, teachers head back to their respective buildings, with their heads held low and their vigor crushed.

When administration sucks the life out of teachers, it makes for a horrible way to start a new school year.