Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Teachers' Meetings, Team Building and Change

I wasn't planning to blog here at Ginger's Journey today. It wasn't in my blog planner (yes blog planner, where I list my blogs and what I want to write when) In fact I have some other posts I really need to get scheduled at other blogs but hey that's how Ginger's Journey has always been....I blog when the mood strikes and ignore it when it doesn't. That's a lot like the ebb and flow of life.
I thought I'd challenge myself to name all the principals I've had in my years in education. Then I realized....I can't remember the principal I had my very first year. Wow, wonder if I can dig that up somewhere?
So here's the list....minus that name:
1. Principal at Bellflower
2. Bollwerk
3. Anders
4. Bain
5. Wolfmeyer
6. Hilbert
7. Spears
8. Hoover
9. Dreyer
10. Crowell
11. Ray
12. Kemp
13. Barnes
14. Pirrung
Geeze...is that all of them? With 30 years that is an average of a new principal every two years. Anyway at this point you may be asking "how does the title of this post fit in with this list of names".
It just reminds me of how hard it is to build a team when the people and the "rules" seem to constantly change. I said I was going to stay away from the negatives when I blogged this last year but I'm also real. I  don't necessarily consider this a negative. I consider it a commentary on education. Not just in Warren County but across the state and perhaps the nation. We need to look at education as a community and communities need stable leadership and community members that "stick around". Turnover causes us to constantly redo things that we have already done. We just keep repeating the same "level" of professional growth rather than going broader and deeper.
We wonder why there's teacher burnout, teachers leaving the profession for other careers, less than effective teachers and all manner of ills that people want to discuss about education. It takes a lot of professional energy to build a relationship with an administrator or co worker. I've learned something from every professional relationship I've had....awww....even Mr. What's His Name from Bellflower. Sure, some of those relationships have been stronger than others but we learn from all manner of people. We can learn from the weaknesses we see, as well as, the strengths.
So today we talked about building teams. It was bittersweet. I felt both a profound sense of pride at the way we keep moving forward (after going in a complete circle) and a sense of despair at the number of times I have found myself in this exact spot.  Either way it reminds me of a quotation...
 "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . ." Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities
Doesn't that sum up education in a nutshell?
I'll see you again soon for more "blogging my last year".

1 comment:

LisaW said...

After as many years in business, you describe the environment perfectly. Perhaps the constant circle of change in education explains why so many of our young people are so ill prepared for the real world. Then I look at our politicians, and think thus could be a commentary on our [lack of] government leadership as well. Well said, Ginger, as always.

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