By Nina Crutchfield, Local Program Success Specialist
Ever dreaded going to your principal’s office as if you were the one in trouble? Do you find yourself trying to get psyched to do battle when you go to a faculty or board meeting? Why is that? We’re all supposed to be working together to promote student learning. So why do we view our administration as a foe to be conquered, as an opponent we must defeat to get what we want/need, as an adversary out to do us harm?
Have the roles of teachers versus administrators become so negative that we can’t even stand to be in the same room? I can remember saying that the best administrator was the one that stayed out of my building and left me alone. Really? Was I so naïve that I didn’t have a clue that I should be promoting my program and students to my administration so that they valued the agriculture department rather than seeing it as an appendage they could easily get rid of when times got tough?
Our current culture in education is one of opposites. We have got to learn to cultivate professional relationships and foster understanding of our programs, rather than focusing on differences and divides. My sincere hope is that everyone reading this will spend some time considering the issues highlighted in this month’s edition of Making a Difference and post strategies for improving our relationships with the educators with whom we work.
I ask those who are doing it well to share how they made positive changes in their professional partnerships. Express how positive relationships make accountability a moot point, how sharing students can be an asset rather than a problem, and how to make the agriculture program a MUST-have rather than a NICE-to-have in the eyes of administrators, counselors, fellow teachers, parents, community leaders, and students.
Share all those ideas and more at the NAAE’s Communities of Practice.