Here I am going to criticize as constructively as I can two perspectives of education, teachers, and parents.  I have linked to both recent articles that both made me get a slice of passion as this summer is ending and I am starting to head into daily reflection mode.

First of all, let me get this out on the table right now, schools cannot be successful for students if teachers and parents cannot work together.  End of story!

Who knows how best a child learns, teachers or their parents?  Some here would say teachers and some would fight till their death saying, parents.  I say both.  We all know that there are parents out there that really do not show too much care about their children but those are not the parents I am talking about.  I am talking about the parents that are engaged in their child's education.  A parent will always and should always advocate for their child and no teacher/administrator should ever try to drive a wedge between that relationship and for those of you that do, shame on you.  Teachers and parents should be fighting together for child's best interest, that interest is learning and being prepared to enter the world that is ever changing.  We are fighting against the people that could make each of jobs so much easier.  Neither side is the enemy, the enemy is the political system that is changed by suits who have no children and have never been teachers and feel that the only way to assess whether a student has learned is through a test.  

Both articles below are great and to some extent, I agree with both.  Yes, parents, you should always back your child, but please understand a teacher does not have one classroom of 30 students, we have 30 classrooms of one student and it is a very difficult job.  Yes, there are some bad seeds that have ruined it for lots of us, but that is not the case of everyone.  Please talk with us.  I rarely get parents that come to me to talk to me about something that concerns them.  They usually run to the principal and complain and then the principal comes to me.  Out of all of the concerns that have been brought to me from my supervisor, do you know how many I have addressed?  Zero!  That is right.  Parents if you do not have the guts to have a difficult conversation with your child's teacher then you must not really care about the situation enough to change it.  Have the guts to come talk to me and find out the real reason I do what I do.  Your children are worth it for you to have the guts to talk with their teachers and that is really all that teachers want.  Some do not want to have any parent communication but don't realize how much easier their jobs would be if they had parents on their side.

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recently was looking through some resumes that I found online of people who were selected to be interviewed in a very extensive search for a superintendent.  For confidentiality reasons, I am not going to post those resumes or link them nor mention the school district that was doing the search.  There was just something that leaped off the page to me so I wanted to share and get some feedback.

I looked at five resumes of very distinguished people.  They have had long careers of working with public schools at the district level as well as some being leaders from the private sector.  The thing that jumped off the page to me is that of the five resumes only one of them had experience working as a principal, vice-principal, and classroom teacher.  Everyone else came from the private sector to the district level and then to area superintendents and director of programs, not having led a single school. Does anyone else find this disturbing?  Maybe it is just me but I feel that if someone is going to lead a massive amount of schools and make critical decisions that will affect the lives of children, they have better spent a great deal of time in the "trenches" of the school and they know what the public school anatomy is like.  I sure do not want the head of surgery at a hospital being a person that knows nothing about the human body or its anatomy.

So who got the job in the end?  Well, you guessed it, not the person with the experience as a school leader.  The business man with the business background and no school leadership experience.  So what do you think?  Should the "head honcho" be the leader without experience leading and school and being in the "trenches" with the teachers and the children?

What do you think?

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