Thursday, August 13, 2009

No Adult Left Behind

I had a meeting at school today. Two and a half weeks out from our report day, this was just me, the other sixth grade team leader, and our director of guidance. At 11 AM, there were probably 4 other people working full time in all the building, and that summer ghost town vibe was still going strong. We decided to sit at a table in the library, and it took a few minutes to actually locate a few chairs to pull up to one of the tables. With only half of the lights turned on and a dozen or more overhead projectors staring at us from in between the stacks like so many cyclops, it still felt good to look decisively forward to next year. Kids names, test scores, and placements felt real and immediate. Information about the master schedule, pre-service week and colleagues? All very relevant.

Our conversation wandered a bit, as summer talks have the luxury of doing, and we touched a little on the challenges of building a cohesive staff with a common vision from 85 disparate individuals and the subsequent impact such attempts have on overall morale. It has long been my opinion that, as educators, we must expect no more and no less of the adults we try to reach than we do of our own students. It is hypocrisy to criticize teachers for giving up on hard-to-engage students, when we dismiss them as burnouts in the next breath. "High expectations for all" is a credo that might best be extended to colleagues as well as kids, and don't even get me started on parents.

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