Excuse me if I don’t sleep well tonight. Or ever again.
All over the World Wide Web you can read about the “good” work our elected officials are doing to save this country.
They are attempting to pass legislation that will make our lives better.
Call me crazy, but when politicians start coming up with “ideas”, I get really nervous (originally I used “great ideas” in this sentence, but even I couldn’t take myself seriously on this one).
When it comes to education, politicians continually have brainstorms on how it can be improved. This is fine with me because as an educator I believe we need to be pushed and challenged. This is the only way for us to maximize the United State’s most important assets.
My only concern lies in the fact that politicians always want to make education slightly better, but seem unwilling to attack the large problems because that might upset the voters.
After all, the next election is always right around the corner (I am in no way insinuating that politicians are only concerned about getting reelected… how do I type this stuff up with a straight face?).
While I’m leery of bureaucrats saving us, I have always thought school administrators and politicians have many things in common.
When you think about it our jobs are very similar.
Of course as educators we don’t get great health care, big pension checks, or wear flag pins like politicians (Political Rule #1: If you wear a flag pin people will naturally assume you are patriotic and thereby more electable).
There are many areas in which we are alike.
Both groups are expected to look professional. We wear suits (thank you Mrs. Hilary Clinton for making this statement asexual). Male politicians and school administrators both seem to own ties with various mystery stains on them (no matter what the job, never trust a man who can’t feed himself without a bib).
Administrators and politicians both live and work in the public eye. One slip up and your entire career can come crashing to a close.
Examples of this are when a politician misspeaks about the facts on TV (this is bad) or a superintendent mispronounces a name at graduation (really bad… really, really bad… in fact there might be a future blog on how really, really, really bad that is).
Politicians work long hours. Principals work long and productive hours.
Both groups are quite familiar with the standard All-American meal; fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll, and iced tea.
Politicians eat this type of meal at fundraisers while begging people for money. Administrators eat this same meal at sports banquets while watching young people get recognized for their outstanding achievements.
Politicians and school administrators are both elected to their offices. Politicians are voted in by the people and administrators by the local school board.
Each gets a term in office. At the conclusion of their terms they are judged strictly on their performance (and on things way out of their control like wars, recessions, and how the basketball team did this year).
Politicians must run for reelection, while administrators hope for a contract extension.
I could go on and on with their similarities.
Both groups face the challenge of being responsible for large groups of people from various economic and social backgrounds.
Both work within a budget (my side is hurting on this one… like politicians have to follow a budget…).
Both enjoy parades (one throws out candy at the homecoming parade, while the other organizes it).
Both have spouses who are scrutinized under the public eye (say what you want… that Todd Palin is one cool guy).
So much in common, yet at their core there is a subtle difference between the two professions.
Administrators make tough decisions on a daily basis for the betterment of their students.
Politicians make decisions (or not) so they can be reelected and make more decisions (or not) so they can be reelected.
I will let you decide about my chances of getting audited. Happy Flag Day!