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A lesson worth learning

School Is In

Teachers and coaches? They have some entitlement too. They are entitled to have administrators who have the knowledge and professionalism and courage to support them without micromanaging. They are entitled to administrators with enough strength of conviction to make it clear to the community who is in charge. They are entitled to support worthy of their dedication and professionalism.

Of course, the old assumption that teachers and coaches are ‘in charge” is becoming something of a fallacy. They are in charge only so long as things go well, nobody complains and test scores are acceptable. Good administrators – the majority – understand that despite the outside influences, annoyances and agitations, they are in charge and ultimately responsible. Some administrators – the minority, fortunately – are not confident that they can support the people they should support. They tend to look for an easier solution, a solution that sends that “squeaky wheel gets the oil” message – you know, the one that reinforces the entitlement idea. The one that doesn’t do anybody any good – especially the students.

So it becomes easier to transfer a teacher or to have a coach “resign” than it is to stand up and deal with core issues. It is easier to suggest that the individual come before the team if that means that the “individual’s” parents will stop complaining. It is easier, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better. Or right.

Participation in many activities is based on merit. The concept of team requires that the better skilled individuals fill the appropriate roles. Do you want to be the lead in the class musical? Rehearse better than the rest. Do you want to be the valedictorian? Study more than the rest. Do you want to be the starting goalie? Practice harder than the rest.

Do you want your children to be these things? Encourage and support them to rehearse longer, study more, practice harder. Then stand back and appreciate the results.

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