03 June 2007

And Then There Were None

By my count, there are 15 teachers in the district assigned (full-time) to Curriculum. At this time, four have already left or are in the process of leaving...and five others have requested a transfer out of the department.

If you're the supe, what does it say to you that within less than a year of new leadership of a department, the majority of the staff in there would prefer to work elsewhere?

Not everyone will get their transfer request fulfilled, to be sure...but there is nothing to stop the two retirements next year or additional requests for reassignment. Is anyone going to notice?

The spaces being created are a bit of a conundrum on my part. Do you encourage certain people who are ready for that kind of teacher leadership role to apply...knowing who they will have to work for (and that the chances of getting back to a classroom if your mind changes are minimal)? I don't know quite how to resolve this. On one hand, we really need high-quality teachers in Curriculum who can make a difference for kids through their support of other teachers. On the other, kids need those teachers in their classrooms.

A principal mentioned this week that she had once been told that if you're going to grow people in your building, you need to be prepared for them to move on. There is truth in that, but I also think it's sad that we can't create the kinds of opportunities for these "growers" to apply their skills in ways which keep them a part of their buildings (and/or districts). The implication there is that people will always need to look elsewhere.

As our district continues to shrink in number, I can't help but wonder what will happen to Curriculum. Good teachers will look for opportunities there...and finding the reality of what lies within, may then need to find another district who will value them. Either that or someone may be able to find us a new chief.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

I think your administrator is backpedaling. We have lost more young teachers over meaningless paperwork and useless meetings than we have over other issues. It's not the occasional parental confrontation that takes the wind out of our sails, its the constant overload of repetitions and often meaningless reports. Example, due to the technical needs perceived at the superintendent's level, each classroom teacher must take roll three times for every class-one hard copy, one in the online gradebook and one in the official attendance online. If you fail to do the online attendance, you are given a failure rate in that domain of the state level evaluations. So a teacher that doesn't use the first ten minutes of class with paperwork will end up as a failure for that domain regardless of the other goals such as improvement, independence, literacy or excellence the students have achieved. We are being hounded to death by beancounters.