Thoughts to share.
Doing more with less
Generally speaking, budget stringencies are asking school principals and educational leaders to be like Moses in ancient times. Moses asked Pharaoh for more building supplies so Israelites (system slaves) could go on building good homes and Egyptian infrastructrure. Pharaoh got cross and told Moses to go away. Supplies were cut off. The Israelites had to scrounge, using their wits to come up with construction materials. Similiarly, educators and principals are challenged to do more with less – just like Moses.
Schools and child care
We need to change the thinking paradigm of those who believe the prime purpose of schools to be that of providing child care. The fact that schools are often defined as placeswere cghildfren go to be brought up, being like unto second homes with teachers pseudo parents is a sad indictment on modern life. Often it seems, parents give birth and hand over their children for almlost total institutionalised upbringing.
The Best Leadership
Ascribed leadership is assigned to the position and is a power many choose to use. My preference was for aquired leadership, leadership based on respect earned through the appreciation bestowed by others.
I believe the most essential quality to be earned, as a student or as a teacher, is that of RESPECT. Respect has to be earned, for it is a recognition of decency that accrues because of genuine care.
The fragility of youth
We need to realise how fragile and concerned about the future young people are, doing our best as educators to build confidence and a sense of the positive into their thinking and belief patterns.
Hierarchal organisation is a worry. It stacks people in terms of importance within a pyramidical structure, from less to more important. My preference is concentric management, with one plane for all.
Too old to teach
If people have to work until they are 70, then I pity poor teachers, whose resilience and bounce back capacity reduces with each year of chronological enhancement. There is an age at which teaching becomes too hard. Being a principal or school leader at an older age is much easier and less demanding that requirements of 100% full on teaching of children in classrooms.
Granted, there are exceptions to this rule. However with special students increasing in number (percentage-wise) and behaviour management becoming the number one classroom issue, this concern is true for the majority of those in our classrooms.
Where are the parents?
Educators seem to be more than willing to put their collective hand in the air, volunteering to correct more and more of the ills and challenges confronting society. Part of this is our seeming willingness to volunteer the bringing up of children and young people in the ways they should go. If anything is wrong, if things need correcting, the repair and renovating role is placed squarely on the shoulders of schools and teachers.
This begs the question of where do parents fit. It seems that more and more children get born, to be committed to child-care agencies then schools to manage and look after their total upbringing. If things go wrong, no responsibility attaches to parents. It is all down to schools and teachers.
Before school care, preschool, school, after school hours care, holiday care … Where does itv end and how much time do parents give to the primary care of their children. Don’t forget the baby sitters and child minders parents employ after hours so they can go out and socialise.
Parents have to work and I understand economic imperatives. However, there is a question of balance. It should be behoved upon parents to remember and fulfil their primary care responsibilities toward their children.