I’m the guy who writes the blog but sometimes the comments are better than anything I’ve written. Sometimes the comments reek of such authenticity that you have to push back form the computer and reflect. When I get those kinds of comments I have a fear that they’ll just get lost in the shuffle and the thoughtfulness, courage, and hard work that went into crafting them will go unnoticed.
This weekend I received such a commit and I decided that I wasn’t going to just trust that people would see it. I decided I would make it it’s own blog post. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the author in crafting it. I have no idea who wrote it, nor do I have any desire to know. I have worked hard to create a space where people share their thoughts free of the fear of retribution. As I told some one this week, y’all’s trust is something I hold as precious and there is nothing I would ever do to compromise it. The only reason this blog is successful is because of everyone’s willingness to share. Thank you.
If you know anything about last year at Metro Nashville Schools you can physically feel the authenticity in this post. Agree or disagree, there is a lot to think about in this post.
Our current leaders are more about perception than anything else, and the lack of an ability to actually get anything done is mind boggling. The latest Eclipse snafu is just the latest example, and I know that I speak for a great deal of teachers when I say that the lack of accountability is shocking. All we hear about are Strategic Plans and Transition Teams, and it’s just the same stuff being packaged in a different (and more expensive) package.
The last group of leaders was certainly not the best, but the way that Dr. Joseph and his team act as though they are all about the kids is extremely frustrating. They continue to pull resources away from students and into consultants and administrative salaries. The number of people in high level positions is unbelievable, and I’m just not understanding why no one on the School Board will say anything. For every “Chief,” there seem to be a large number of people under them that make at least $100,000, and many of them more than that. There are so many positions that are completely unnecessary, and the people that are in those positions seem to just spend endless hours in meetings, thinking up things that they can pass down–and then abruptly change from year to year. I’m also confused about how all of these people on the MNPS payroll need help from so many different consultants to put things into place.
As far as leadership at the school level goes, there are a few great Principals, but a great deal of our schools are being led by people that are really better at interviewing than anything else. The new “Principal Pipeline” is just a continuation of that (being led by two people who make over $100,000 each). Once these Principals get into schools, the same clichés and buzzwords they used to get there are the same ones that they use while running their schools. For teachers like me who just keep their head down, work hard, and actually care about and enjoy what they do, it’s terribly disheartening.
I guess it all comes down to whether or not we speak up, or we just watch as good people keep leaving. Most teachers that I know absolutely love working with the diverse group of students that we have, and they do everything they can to meet the needs of those students. When they are consistently pulled in a million different directions, it gets to a point where enough is enough and they just decide to leave. I’ve had many colleagues who have taken pay cuts to work in other counties, and it’s not because they can’t “cut it” in an urban school district.
Like many in our district, I was excited to get an energetic and authentic leader for our students, but I just can’t help but feel as though we really got hoodwinked. Again, it’s all about perception, and as long as outlets like the Tennessean refuse to push back, his entire team appear to be free to do what they want, without any fear of reprisal.