Confused? I get that sideways tilting confused dog look from some of you every time I say that.
Yes, I'm pro teacher evaluation system. I also believe in banning K-2 suspensions, young teacher recruitment from any and all pipelines (TFA, Urban Teacher, etc), and charter schools.
Do you know what else I believe? That the richest sources of information about our students and campuses are our teachers that day in and day out fill our schools and educate our kids.
There will be plenty of blogs coming from 10 and 20+ year veterans I've been talking to over the summer, but, I want to talk generally about new people on our campuses. I am vehemently against the "pay your dues and you're untouchable" mentality that some people in our city have both in and outside of schools. Dallas is an old town. That makes sense. As frustrating as that may seem, new principals and teachers alike would benefit from putting their pride aside to learn a thing or two from our campus veterans before deciding that you know everything about students, personnel, campus culture, etc. You may even, ultimately, be proven right about your ideas, but the first step is learning about the place where you are new.
Think of yourself as a stranger or a guest in those first few days.
I wouldn't be teaching and wouldn't have made it through my first few years if it weren't for the watchful eye and guiding hand of teachers with decades more experience than I have. It's fine to want to be a leader, but part of leading means seeing and finding value in everyone. If you can't see the benefit in the experience that our long time educators have to offer, you're making a mistake. It helps no one to try and hunt them for sport or openly disrespect them for not having the most cutting edge training or technical know how.
These teachers are figures of stability with a wealth of knowledge. That doesn't mean giving them a free pass, but it does mean showing them an earned amount of respect.
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