If you think you are going to fight the ed deformers by becoming a NYC principal, you are sorely deluded. As a principal you will become a foot-soldier in the deformers’ war on children. I’m surpised that someone as intelligent as you hasn’t figured that out yet. No insult intended; we all have our blind spots.
My friends warned me that, if I became a principal, I would be required to sell out if I wanted to keep my position. Maybe they were right. We will not be able to test out that theory now anyway.
My thinking was that, to one degree or another, those of us who work in public education are all being forced to act as foot soldiers for education deform. As teachers, we are being forced to ram test prep down our students’ gullets. In New York, with the new evaluation system, test prep will only intensify. We look to what the future holds in NY state and see nothing but dark days.
As concerned teachers, we try to shield our students as much as possible from this madness. Maybe we have to prep our children for exams, but we can do that while also providing a decent education. Of course, as the new evaluation regime tightens its noose and Common Core becomes more entrenched, it will be tougher to make these compromises with the devil. Testing will demand more and more of our time and attention. There will be less room to provide a real education.
So, my naivete led me to believe that becoming a principal would better enable me to shield students from this education deform madness. Not only students, but teachers as well. Sure, just like teachers, I would have to make my compromises with the devil. There would be a certain amount of ed deform tripe that just had to be swallowed.
Yet, just like teachers, I felt I would also be able to do this while trying to provide a real education to my students. I would make as few compromises as possible while creating an atmosphere in which real teaching and learning can take place. Essentially, I envisioned doing what I do now as a teacher on a grander scale: do the bare minimum to satisfy the beast and focus the lion’s share of my efforts on real education.
Maybe this is incredible naivete or even stupidity on my part. Maybe there is no way to carve out an island of sanity in the world of the DOE. At the very least, I would strive to be a principal that respected teachers. At the very least, I would have liked to create a school where teachers looked forward to coming everyday, where they did not have to worry about harassment from the administration.
In the end, everything happens for a reason. The Leadership Academy wants drones and, very simply, there was no way for me to hide who I am.