Saturday, April 23, 2011
To School Administrators. If You Want "Great Teachers" To Teach In Your School, Show Them That You Have A Great Administration & School Environment.
Once again it would appear that principals will not be able to hire "newbie teachers" for the next school year due to a hiring freeze that affects all subjects except Special Education and possibly secondary school Science. In addition, if the Mayor actually follows through with his threat to layoff 4,666 teachers, the principals will have to fill the many vacancies with ATRs or steal them from other schools. This will be the time to get a "great teacher". Obviously, every parent wants a "great teacher" for their child regardless of race, income, religion, or culture. Of course if you ask Mayor Bloomberg and his poodle, Chancellor Walcott, their idea of a "great teacher" is young, inexperienced, cheap, and if possible, not tenured. Why pay pensions or retiree health benefits if they don't have to? However, parents and their children know that a "great teacher" is an experienced one who has excellent knowledge of the curriculum, has superior classroom control and not afraid to try something different if it helps the student academic achievement. What seems to be left out of the equation is the quality of the school Administration.
It is common knowledge that a good school starts with a supportive Administration. "Great teachers" will gravitate to these schools where teachers feel that the Administration" has their back". Many of these good schools have long-term Administrators who went through the ranks as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and than Principal. They will almost always side with the teacher in student/parent teacher disputes and support the teacher in providing resources and assistance. By contrast many of the struggling and small schools have an Administration that consists of a "Leadership Academy Principal" with little classroom teaching experience and Assistant Principals who blindly follow the Principal's directives, no matter how destructive it is to the school. Furthermore, these principals don't back up their teachers and rule as if they own the school and not collaboratively as good principals do.These principals have a staff of mainly "newbie teachers" and complain that they cannot (or is it do not?) get experienced teachers to their struggling schools and blame it on the teachers themselves but never admit to their own deficiencies.
What "great teacher" would ever want to work for these "Leadership Academy Principals"? Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here. "great teachers" do not like to work with a "Leadership Academy Principal". A "great teacher" works in schools with a supportive Administration. A "great teacher" wants to teach as he or she believes is the best learning style for the students. You want "great teachers" than show them you have a great Administration and school environment to attract them.
Remember, if it really is "children first" then it is up to the school Administration to recruit the best teachers regardless of age, and salary. Does your school have such a great Administration, if not then ask yourself why?