Monday, April 16, 2012

HR for Principals: Take Out Your Own Trash

For the past month or so I’ve been helping administrators take out a great deal of trash.  Admittedly, as an Employee Relations Specialist, that’s kind of my job but still.  

You know the kind of trash I’m talking about.  The teacher whose attendance for the past 10 years has been spotty at best.  The teacher whose students are floundering with new material, have no chance of passing the state test, and spend their entire day completing ‘review’ worksheets while he surfs the net.

Just in case I’m still not being clear - the trash I’m talking about is poor teachers.  Teachers who should have been counseled out of the profession during their first year but who have by some miracle stayed in in the classroom.  

Every school has at least one.  

And as #edleaders it’s our job to get rid of them.  In fact, it should be one be one of our highest priorities.  Listen, I know it’s a pain-in-the-ass drawn out process to get rid of a teacher.  I know the union or association or whatever is going to fight you every step of the way.  I know you’re going to have to spend at least a year (more likely two or three) documenting,  observing, coaching, and evaluating.  I know the process is going to pull you away from other things that are equally important.

And yet I say again, take out your trash.

Don’t leave it to the next administration.  Don’t blame the previous administration.  Roll up your shirt sleeves and get-r-done.

The negative impact just one bad teacher can have on students is just too much to ignore.  The widely held rule is that it takes a student two to four years to recover from a bad teacher - two to four years! 

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