Friday, May 19, 2006

Explaining My Resignation, Part 2

I don't feel that it is too much to ask for a principal to be....what's the word? Oh yes, competent. Competent at the job for which they were hired. This may seem obvious if you work in a district in which administrators interview and hire candidates based on their actual qualifications. In my district, the process is a little more refined. There are several ways to become promoted within a school in my district:

1. Do a craptastic job of teaching. If you're lousy in the classroom, you are sure to get moved right on up the administrative ladder.
2. Teach something like music. Don't bother to learn anything about state curriculum or testing or classroom management or how to deal with parents or treat students with love and respect. Just utilize the copious stories from your music class to put your employees in their place. Teaching music surely must be similar to teaching four to five subjects for a state mandated test.
3. Be weak and unqualified. This is to ensure that no one else in administration feels threatened by your actual knowledge of a content area, classroom management, or leadership abilities. Try to hide that you don't know what you're talking about.
4. Be supported by the "in crowd." The "in crowd" in this instance is comprised of a group of parents and teachers who wish to run the school through their administrator, henceforth to be referred to as "The Puppet". You can surely understand why The Puppet would need to be weak and unknowledgable so that the "in crowd" can more easily direct their decisions for them.
5. Rule with an iron fist. Don't worry about if you know what you're talking about, just sound really, really firm and condescending. Squirrel your lips up into a tight little knot to illustrate your displeasure with your staff. (Unless they are from the "in crowd." They will let you know with whom you need to be angry.) Be sure to utilize phrases such as "as long as you're under my rule" and "as long as I'm in charge here."

So you can see why this system of promoting the inept must be my first area of discussion. The explanations that follow will go into more specific detail, but you needed a true understanding of how the Puppet came to be in the first place. To be continued.

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