"The Power of the Principal."
A principal can make a teacher’s life miserable:
By giving them the cold shoulder;
By spreading negative words about them to staff and parents;
By not supporting them in situations with parents;
By not supporting their discipline
Principals can load up classes with the most difficult and lowest performing students.
Principals can change the teacher’s assignment even though in LAUSD assignments are supposed to be selected by seniority. The on site union representative is most unlikely to stand up for a teacher fearing the above negative treatment. Calling the union is totally fruitless as the union leaders are most concerned about spending the dues and maintaining their perks, privileges, and pensions just like the LAUSD downtown bureaucracy that they totally mirror.
This has been going on forever.
The Kingdom of LAUSD—a top down pyramid (empire) with the serfs—teachers--at the absolute bottom of the pyramid.
The current generation of teachers is totally different from the generation that I trained and began with.
We were there for the students, not the test scores.
We had the freedom to plan our own lessons and to schedule them.
The lessons were designed to fit our personality and that of the class. Lesson plans and pacing plans did not come from publishers, they came from teachers, experienced teachers who were there to prepare students for the next grade and for life, teachers who cared about educating the students and who were not forced to care only about test scores.
We had sufficient time to remediate. An early principal of mine used to say, “Bring the students up to grade level and introduce them to grade level skills.”
We had ample opportunities to challenge and to enrich the students.
We had time for teachable moments.
We had time for fun!
We were not forced to stay within the system. We went beyond to help the students.
A parent who lives by Palms Middle School chose to send her child to Paul Revere Middle School about seven miles away. This is a heavy traffic drive and the street leading to Revere is a one lane road in each direction.
Why? Because she wants the best education for her child.
Parents go so far as to use someone else’s address. This is a common practice as parents in areas where their home school is not to their expectations find other ways to get their children into a preferred school.
Many years ago, a number of students attending an elementary school were found using the same residential address where none of them lived. People have turned the guardianship of their child over to a relative living in the residential area of a desired school.
There are also students using permits with transfer and taking extremely long school bus rides to attend better schools. There are also students who utilize public transportation to reach a school that their family prefers.
All schools are not created equal.Read more
Here are the proven ways to get sent to teacher jail:
1.Be at the top of the salary scale.
2.Be close to vesting in lifetime benefits.
3.Be an advocate for your students and their families.Read more
- The great feeling a teacher experiences when a student’s light goes on when they acquire a skill they struggled with.
- The pleasure of sitting down on the rug and reading to or having a discussion with the class.
- The time to review a skill until everyone in the class has mastered it.
- The opportunity to sit and play a learning game with the children.
- Teachable moments.
Sure, go ahead and hold teachers accountable for test scores. Even attach their raises to the scores. Make it so they can be terminated; but wait.
Who holds the principals, assistant principals, and deans accountable? What about the downtown administrators, the superintendent and his assistants, the local administrators, and the school board members?
No one holds them accountable! The school board hires the superintendent. He and the school board hire his assistants. He and the school board select the downtown administrators and the local administrators who in turn choose and support the principals.Read more
- Welcome back, I hope you all had a good summer.
- I know that you are anxious to get into your classrooms.
- There have been some changes, so me let me introduce your new staff members.
- Now you will sign the forms promising to report child abuse.
- Test scores. (Everybody groans)
- In and of itself, the test scores were a little up in some areas, a little flat in others, and lower in some.
- If you will turn towards the wall, our coordinator will show our scores with her analysis. (Teachers start to draw, cutout, and prepare materials)
Schools may be closed for the break,
But teachers have a lot to make.
Lesson plans for the the school year,
With lessons that are precise and clear.
Schedule learning so the students have the knowledge for each test,
So for the teachers the break is not true rest,
Wherever they go they still are thinking about what the kids need to know,
And about the room environment, papers to correct, and observing the students grow.
Lately, I have been drawn to watch episodes of the 1950’s T.V. show, The Lone Ranger.
During every episode, the morality, the goodness, and the righteousness of The Lone Ranger and Tonto stands out.
Every teacher in America is The Lone Ranger. We fight against the system that we know is wrong. We do what we can to prepare our students for the next grades and for life. We are there for our students.
Every teacher has had former students come back or contact them. These former students are full of great memories and thankfulness.
Instead of “Who was that masked man?” they say, “I wish my kids could have you as a teacher!”
Their memories and their success are the SILVER BULLET we leave behind.
The money to pay for the tests and the test preparation materials comes from the districts’ budgets funded by our taxes. Almost 12% of my property taxes go to LAUSD. It is an appalling usage, especially to a teacher in LAUSD!
In order to pay for the tests, districts such as LAUSD:
- Increased class sizes;
- Laid off school counselors, librarians, support people, custodians, and office clerks;
- Cut art, music, sports, and gifted programs;
- Reduced teacher salaries and health benefits.
Do you as a parent appreciate of this?
Teachers don’t!Read more