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There are many skills that must be acquired if one is to be a truly great teacher. But what every teacher knows is the art of holding one’s tongue. How many times has something biting, vituperative, but honest, popped into our consciousness as we go about teaching our classes or partaking in teacher meetings and trainings? All teachers know the great temptation to say what we are really thinking, to unleash doses of high witticism and brutal honesty.
And yet…most of us don’t want to hurt or offend. Most of us are fond of our students. Most of us like and respect our administration. Most of us appreciate the parental support we receive. But there are days and moments when the temptation is great. For the thousands of teachers who hold their tongue and practice the art of prudence with great virtue and gusto I offer the following…
The Top 5 Things That Teachers Think (To Themselves) But Do Not Say (Out Loud)…
#5: No one should become an administrator until they have been a teacher for at least a decade.
Full Disclosure: I have worked for the same principal for fourteen years who is and has been an extraordinary friend and mentor. BUT…I know many of my colleagues at other schools and across the nation often have the same thought when they are being evaluated.
“Why should someone who was in the classroom for five minutes stand in judgment of me, someone who could teach circles around the very person doing the evaluation?”
To be fair, administration and teaching require a VERY different skill set. But let’s be honest: in an era in which subject matter teachers with classes of forty-plus students are told to foster meaningful individual relationships with each student so as to inculcate both content and critical thinking skills all the while being on the look out for intervention candidates while simultaneously being sensitive to the special needs of each student sitting in our classrooms as we generate writing prompts, common formative assessments, and cute group activities, the least we could have are administrators who understand what it means to be “in the trenches.”
Click here for tip #4.