Thursday, March 16, 2006


Often during meetings when addressing problems we all speak in the third person. For example, "some teachers are obviously struggling during DEAR", "some teachers are breaking the agreed upon practices for the advisory", "some teachers are not following the protocol set up for community issues."

I was told today that speaking indirectly about particular colleagues can be annoying. I wondered why people bring up problems in this manner. Why not just outright say to the particular person what problems we have with their professionalism or lack of professionalism? I think one reason might be the realization that we all need to learn from each other. Could it also be possible that the lack of professionalism described will transcend the immediate infraction, and elicit an unpredictable and irrational response? Teachers become defensive during SLC's when they feel embarrassed.

When I coach baseball and one player is having trouble hitting we all watch a batting video and we all become better hitters. Unless you are Barry could improve on your hitting.

Small groups need to function like this. Any problem a single teacher is having is a problem all of us are having. Teachers who decide to consistently break behavioral norms need our help. Just like the professional teachers we are, we continually need to welcome our struggling colleagues with open arms.

I will still speak in the third person during meetings. I personally could still use some work on DEAR, Advisory, and hitting a baseball. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

1 comment:

Ms. Mayo said...

Well said, Brown.
I remember when we were trying to break Far Rock into SLCs. People were concerned that we would still have "bad" teachers. Alan Dichter told us that it was our responsibility to help one another because of the fact that everything that everyone does affects everything and everyone else in the building. The same holds true for us. And like you, I could also got better at a lot of things.

I think we need more structure to our SLCs (especially when we all get together). Let's talk about using protocols where each person speaks. I'll revisit the NSRF site to get some for us to look at.