School leaders should teach for a day (N&R)

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Here is a very well-written Counterpoint, that ran in the News & Record over the Holidays.

No commentary is needed on this one, it says it all:

School leaders should teach for a day

The following is a Counterpoint.

By Joe Franks

The behavioral crisis in public schools is not limited to Guilford County. Talk to educators across the state, region or country and you hear similar stories. Disrespect, foul language, fighting…we have all heard these stories and seen numerous letters to the editor. The real question is, what will the leaders of the school system do to address and try to correct the ills that are in our schools?

Community forums and diversity training for teachers and staff are common reactions that have been used with generally poor results. As a teacher of more than 20 years, it is my opinion that the only way school leaders can truly understand the magnitude of what we deal with on a daily basis is for them to be in the schools.

I am not talking about the standard visit of walking the halls for an hour with the principal or visiting a selected class for one period. I am suggesting that our superintendent, his upper administrative staff and members of the school board be a substitute teacher for a day, once a month, in a middle school or high school. Go through substitute training, be in the classroom all day and assume the teacher’s duties, whether it be hall duty, lunch duty or bus duty.
In this way leaders of our school system can truly understand conditions in our schools. They will see a collage of great students, struggling students, those with character and those who need help.

Our public schools are the last great hope that our community and our society have for teaching norms, values, civility and character.

As teachers, we are told that all students can learn, and that is true. All children can learn to behave with respect for others, to comply with the direction of authority, to be good citizens and to give a good effort in school.

For those who cannot adapt to the regular school environment, our school system should create alternative schools that have lower class sizes, an emphasis on behavioral modification and personalized mentoring. This type of customized educational environment will meet them where they are and result in a greater likelihood of their being successful in school and in life.
School leaders, it’s up to you. I hope to see you in the classroom.

The writer lives in Greensboro.


E.C. 🙂


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