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Aug 16, 2011

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Bad principals & administrators are what's ruinning educa...

Clarence, definitely true at least from my own experience... I'd say Sean was as much of a victim of the system as anyone except for his drive. I remember boasting a 70% pass rate among my students the previous year (district average was @ 50% for these particular "at risk" students) This was the wrong position to take with him, because he personally had gotten a 98% pass rate from a similar class when he was a teacher. Now, was it apples to apples? who knows? I do know that standards under "no child" have gone up every year, and I'm very doubtful that "no child" was in place back then. Was I to try to argue that point with him? So, what happened was, I was not really allowed to leave his office that day until I had stated verbatim that my goal was a 100% pass rate, and do so without any caveat that suggested the reality of the situation. Just a little bit controlling? I recently read an article that was published in the San Fransisco Chronicle where Sean was quoted, apparently, he now has painted on the wall of the cafeteria the following statement,“Learnin g for All ... no exceptions, no excuses” Sounds great, right? Until you filter it as I did, which is more as a threat. As a teacher you don't have the luxury to make arguments like these. So, here it is, my ed. theory that would directly conflict with the statement made above, I call it the "Ham Sandwich version of Education." So, again, what I gathered from his painted petition was very similar to what I was subjected to in his office that day, the idea seems clear, YOU WILL teach each and every one of these students regardless of the circumstances and they will pass or else. My version would be far less concerned for each individual student and show far more deference to the whole. Question: What happens to the student who goes through the lunch line at school and doesn't have enough money to pay for their lunch? They are given a milk and a ham or bologna sandwich. Under my system, the student bears a significant responsibility (say @ 50%) to learn and to do his or her part be a constructive party to the educational process. I'm sick to death of everyone (especially admin.) and usually because of these damn sub-pops (but not in this case, IMO) going to the ends of the earth to teach 1,2, or 10 kids, and putting all manner of pressure on their staff to teach ALL students... Since when has America stood for this? Capitalism and in many ways survival itself has always depended on the individual to rise to the challenge. This non-sense keeps getting spewed back at us, like we are not challenging kids enough. No, the truth is that we are coddling them to much, so many have no initiative, no responsibility, no accountability, they have seen how the system will protect them, provide for them, make excuses for them, blame teachers for them... Too much truth, I know, only so much at a time... So, yes, bologna sandwich will go to those who refuse to do their part (and trust me, that's not asking a whole lot by today's standards) and more bologna sandwiches to those students who can't behave themselves and treat other students and teachers with respect. Peace my fellow teachers, their is TRUE LIFE after teaching...  (Jun 4, 2013 | post #23)


Bad principals & administrators are what's ruinning educa...

Update: Comal ISD will soon have rid itself of the services of Dr. Jodi Duron & Dr. Marc Walker. Mr. Walker will retired, and Dr. Duron has apparently managed to find a job as Superintendent for Elgin ISD, God help 'um. Dr. Maika remains as Principal at Mountain Valley Middle School. I was remembering the other day, while in a staff meeting with Sean, how he seemed to disparage his father's profession as a septic tank installer I think it was, and how he had similar disparaging remarks for his brother which I don't exactly recall. Then Sean went on to boast about his own lot in life, how I think no one in his family had graduated from college except him, and how proud he was to have gotten his doctorate, "I did that for me." His drive & arrogance are remarkable, that he would throw his own family under the proverbial bus in front of his entire staff speaks volumes of this mans character and judgement. Here's an excerpt of his from an online blog entry: Sean Maika on Agility and Adaptability “The man who would be warlord knows of the inevitably of change in the administrative practice of maintenance of the state. Being resilient is a virtue of the warlord with vision, and knowing how to change functions in the management of a state essential. Without it there is decay and loss.” (An excerpt from The Art of War in which Kaufman interprets Sun Tzu’s 2000 year-old tenets) Dealing with change is a complex task for the individual, group or organization. While there are many obstacles to change, often the greatest impediment is fear. Fear is so constricting that it often paralyzes the participants resulting in avoidance or rejection. Overcoming the fear surrounding a change is a daunting task for the change agent since fear wears many masks. However as Kaufman and Wagner allude to, failure to adapt and evolve will lead to entropy: the slow decline to death.  (Apr 24, 2012 | post #3)