Opening school in the overly large district for which I work has been pretty smooth this year. It hasn’t been quite as easy in a much smaller system just around the beltway as reported by Patrick Welch. Welch is an English teacher at the only high school in the district and an occasional contributor to the Washington Post op-ed pages.
Along with the usual snafus that go with starting the school year – I’ve never taught in a school where the copy machine worked correctly the first day! – the superintendent and school board in Welch’s district is in the process of "meltdown". But he finds the situation oddly reassuring.
The chaos at the top has reinforced what many teachers and parents have long believed — that the needs of schoolchildren and their families are hardly the first priority of education bureaucrats. But it also shows that our so-called educational "leaders" aren’t as important as we’d like to think they are.
The saga… has delivered a message that could be food for thought for school districts everywhere: We don’t need messianic superintendents and charismatic school boards and we should stop looking for them. As long as schools have solid principals, good teachers and a competent support staff, they can do very well.
Read the rest for the details and some insight that many teacher will recognize and that every administrator should understand. I wonder if our newly hired superintendent has read the article!