Know what really makes teachers good? Principals and administrators who lead, communicate and support.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/141250343.html

excerpt:

The current political witch hunt concerning seniority and teachers is looking at the whole problem from a far too simplistic and elementary angle. If we want good teachers, we need to make certain they are working with and for people who know how to lead, how to encourage creativity and how to judge performance.

This is not a union problem or a case of letting people ride out their careers until their pension kicks in. This is a problem of school systems allowing poor leadership to create environments of fear, limited thinking and poor communication. I’ve been in enough school situations to know what I’m talking about.

Those schools with lazy, indifferent and ineffective teachers are those schools where the principals see themselves as the center of the building. They feel they must control everything, make every decision, and silence anyone who may have a different point of view.

Schools that are effective have principals who see their role as that of a support position. They talk to teachers. They find out what teachers need and help them find tools for effective work. Their doors are open to discussions, contrary opinions and debate…

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