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13 December 2004: Cardinal Rules for Administrators (2 of 6)
Rule #1: Donít Blame the Teachers
Okay, so at first glance, it may sound a bit like coddling. Maybe not the strongest place to start. But, I think youíll have to look hard for someone who has actually run a classroom well and thinks teaching is easy. Iím not here to remind you that teachers in this country are overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, and overextended. If youíre reading this, you already know about all of the administrative, paper-pushing job requirements for which we are not compensated. The point Iím trying to make is that in light of this, a good manager will always come from an attitude of compassion, support and encouragement. When poor attendance systems caused every classroom on our site to fail an audit of our records, the principal put it on the teachers to fix the problem. Fix the problem, she said, make the records match, and do it by the end of this week. We pointed out that this week was both second trimester report cards and open house, and could it wait for just a couple days beyond that? Her response? ďIf you all had kept the records you were supposed to up until now, you wouldnít have this work to do.Ē Hm. Thatís motivating.