I always enjoy talking to both my Dad and my Dad-in-Law. Together, these two have spent nearly 80 years in the education system of this country serving as teachers and as an administrator. And when I talk with them, together or separately, the main idea is always, ALWAYS the question, “How does [whatever we are talking about] best serve young people?”Their question has always served as a bit of a compass for me, and I am appreciative. When I have been mired in school politics or a difficult student or parent situation, when I have taken things personally, or when I have hit the end of my resolve. It always helped to put me back on track.
I think it would do folks a lot of good to remember this. Teachers who are afraid of change, and teachers who push hard for change in all shapes and forms. Administrators who are detached, and administrators who micro-manage. Everything teachers and parents do, everything politicians do to amend, add to or remove from the education system, every decision a school board makes….all of them should be able to satisfactorily answer the question, “how does this best serve our young people?”
When that question is least or not considered – that is when we fail.