They Should Teach This in Superintendent School.


When you go to Superintendent School they teach you a lot of things.Just Say It!

Such as, superintendents get paid more than principals (I got an A on this quiz… nailed it!).

Usually, this lesson is enough to pique one’s interest.

They also teach you about public relations, finances, and school law.

That’s the good part.

The bad part is they don’t teach you everything.  Some things you just have to learn on the job.

This is not very reassuring…for the superintendent and school board.

Lots of Responsibility + Lack of Knowledge = Ruh Roh, Raggy!

In a perfect world, superintendents would be prepared when they started their new careers, but as you might’ve heard, the world isn’t always perfect (if this is news to you… I’m sorry you had to hear it here).

The superintendentcy is a big job, so I can’t really blame universities if some things fall through the cracks.

Not to complain but… there is one little tidbit I would like to see college professors share before diplomas are handed out.

Teach future educational leaders how to say "No".

Everyone can say "Yes", but only a select few can say "No".

I think this gets many people into trouble.  It’s almost like new superintendents need a safe word.

Personally, mine is "Serenity now!" (if you see me screaming this while huddled in a corner rocking back and forth in a fetal position… please back away slowly… and notify the authorities).

Saying no sounds simple, but it’s hard.

Really hard.

Especially for people who haven’t been taught.

I want it noted this is the only blog where you get  Superintendent talk mixed in with Seinfeld and Scooby-Doo references.  You’re welcome.

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Summer and Little Girls Both Have an Expiration Date.


Summer is almost over.

By almost, I mean it’s over.asthon_laundry

Done.

Kaput.

Gone.

Finished.

I guess you get the point.

There are 3 major parts of summer.

The beginning, which everyone looks forward to and loves.

The second part which is July 4th.

And the end of summer, which if you’re in education begins promptly when the last firework falls from the sky.

When the sun rises on July 5th, it’s all over.

Time to get back in school.

No more summer for you.  Come back one year (this would be a random Seinfeld reference… which means I’m really starting to date myself with the kids).

I love summer vacation, but like with so many good things in life, it comes and goes far too quickly.

I’m starting to think The Evil Spawn is sneaking up on her childhood July 4th.

She’s grown up so much in the last year (in sarcasm and height… and I have no idea where she gets either).

It’s quite evident she’s no longer a little girl.

She’s not quite an adult, but you can tell it won’t be long.

There’s less carrying around stuffed animals and more time talking on the phone.

She spends more time outside of the house than inside.

She talks less about today and more about the future.

She’s even taken it upon her self to become more responsible about her chores (I hope I just didn’t jinx this).

All too soon, her mom and I will be seeing her go.

These days, it’s on her bike.  One day, it’s going to be in a car.

Eventually, it will be a plane.

In eight years, she will no longer be ours, but the world’s.

I’m looking forward to the next few years.  The opportunity to watch her go through school is a special one,  but I know from past experiences with other students, the time is going to fly.

Junior high goes fast.  High school is a blur.

As a dad, you might think this would be hard on me.

It isn’t.

All I can do is enjoy the days and weeks as they come.

I find a certain amount of peace in her telling me she doesn’t like boys, will never marry, and plans to live at home while she attends college.

I know it’s not true, but if she can have dreams, so can I.

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No Tenure for You. Come Back One Year (or Not).


I’ve steered clear of the following blog topic for the last three years (how time flies when you are blogging).

No, not the discussion on whether or not Seinfeld is the best TV show of all-time ( it is… BJ and the Bear comes in a close second).

Tenure.

This seems to be the hottest of all education topics.

Hotter than testing, the perceived worthlessness of administrators (I said perceived… because all of us are worth our weight in… well, in something), or the lack of parental support.The Soup Nazi (Seinfeld).

Tenure trumps them all.

Just saying the word can provoke a heated discussion (and get you beaten up in a Teacher’s Lounge near you…).

You are either for it, or against it.

It’s hard to find someone who rides the fence on this issue (much like Dancing With the Stars… some love it and some find it as enjoyable as abdominal cramps).

To me that’s the problem.

Those of us with tenure (yes, I am a proud owner (or not) of what could be construed as a lifetime teaching job) absolutely love the idea.

And what’s not to love.

Tenured teachers have jobs (very important in this day and age).  If that wasn’t enough, they (evil administrators) can’t fire those tenured teachers.

And as an added bonus, our raises are based on the number of years we have taught and has nothing to do with productivity.

It’s a little piece of heaven.

I’m not saying this is right.  I’m not saying it’s wrong.

I’m just saying it’s our system.

Then there is the anti-tenure crowd.

This is a rather large and angry group which includes pretty much everyone else in the free world (and most people in Cuba).

Anyone who doesn’t have tenure (99.999999% of all humans) believes it is the dumbest idea since New Coke (which incidentally, I enjoyed).

These people think far too many teachers who attain tenure end up going through the motions while cashing an ever increasing paycheck.

I’m not saying they are right.

I’m not saying they are wrong.

I am saying tenure is woven into the fabric of our educational system.

Some states are considering passing No Tenure Laws (way to be a leader Florida… and I’m crossing my fingers you don’t send us another Bush for The White House…).

Tenure has never seemed very American to me.

I’ve always thought our country was built on the idea that if you work hard and pay your dues (figure of speech… not Union) it’s possible to make your fortune and climb the ladder of success.

If you think like I do (and for your sake, I pray you don’t), tenure may be holding good teachers back.

They aren’t granted the opportunity to be judged financially on the great work they do.

They are lumped in with all teachers, good and bad. 

Those who work 12 hour days and those who hardly work at all.

I think that’s a shame.

Tenure doesn’t help our best and brightest.

It doesn’t promote working harder, thinking outside the box (which is the dumbest phrase since… Where’s the Beef?), or going above and beyond.

Unfortunately, it’s major purpose seems to be protecting older teachers from vindictive administrators and school boards.

This is important, but is it reason enough to keep tenure in 2010?

The title of this blog comes from The Soup Nazi.  My hero.  My mentor.  My compadre (at least he will be after I learn Spanish).

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Parents Hate Principals.


This isn’t completely true. Not all parents hate the principal at their child’s school.

I thought it was important to clarify because I don’t want to be responsible for scaring off teachers who are considering a career move to school administration.

We need good quality young people to go into the profession.Can't We All Just Get Along.

Actually, we (or I) need a good young person to take my job.

You know the word “Retirement” means “Sweet, I Can Go Golfing” in Latin (if you don’t believe me, look it up… on the other hand, just take my word for it).

This needs to happen soon, while I’m still young (I’m not kidding… get yourself in a Master’s program and get your degree… NOW!).

Theoretically, it’s possible for a parent to like a principal.

In fact, once in the late 1970’s there was a parent in one of the western states (can’t remember the name of it but it has snow… or mountains… or maybe cowboys live there… not exactly sure) that loved their school principal.

Alright, I’m exaggerating.

This is a little something I like to do to move the blog along. I learned this when I was an English major in college.

Actually, that’s just an out and out lie. I couldn’t have been an English major because I couldn’t spell it (and by it, I mean the word “English”… I have been able to spell “it” for as long as I can remember).

Also, there wasn’t a parent out west who liked his or her principal.

That’s also a lie.

No one likes principals.

They are despised by everyone. Including parents. In every state. Including the states where it snows and cowboys live.

Parents and principals have a very special relationship. (Science teachers, this is your one and only symbiotic reference).

And by special, I mean they are sworn enemies.

It has to work this way. It’s like Good vs. Evil. Kardashians vs. Good Taste. Jerry vs. Newman (Seinfeld reference… Yes!!!). Buddy the Dog vs. Rabbits (another lie… Buddy loves rabbits… it’s really quite pathetic).

Parents and principals need each other.

Without the other, neither exists.

Parents need someone at school in which to direct their thoughts (i.e. anger) on the educational system and its treatment of their child (this is commonly referred to as “You Will Be Hearing From My Lawyer!”).

Principals need parents. Without a mom or dad barging into the office yelling and threatening to sue, why would schools even need a principal?

Honestly, couldn’t a secretary just run things?

As long as there are children and schools, parents and principals will be tied together.

So don’t worry that they don’t like each other.

It’s supposed to be that way.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.