Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"All the Wrong People are Leaving"

In this day and age email is the medium through which professionals collaborate. Yes, there are conferences and meetings when necessary, during which half the attendees are on their blackberries irritating those who are not. Email has taken the place of the cubical walk-by, the prep room fly-by and the hand-written note in the mailbox.

That said, email in the workplace needs to be professional. It's official, documented correspondence between colleagues. That means it should be free of slights, heavy criticism and very rude remarks. In the business world if you send multiple emails slighting all the employees in the company I can guarantee that you'll get canned pretty quick.

"All the wrong people are leaving" was a one-line email sent to the entire staff today. It was meant to say that there are a couple people leaving our staff who the sender respected, and that he believes a number of others should quit. It's not the first time this person has sent emails like this and I'm sure it won't be the last. The person's email was actually shut off two years ago because the remarks became excessive.

I was at school today going through books and materials for the coming year and a student worker was helping out. She had the "sender" as a teacher two years ago and she, along with a lot of other students, think he's a fantastic teacher. From what I hear the administration believes the same- he is a great teacher; he gets students excited about the material and holds them accountable for everything they do. From what I know about this person, it doesn't actually surprise me. Whatever you do in the classroom, however, part of your job- and a necessary part- is showing your coworkers respect. If your students respect you and they see you disrespecting the rest of the staff, you are undermining the efforts of all teachers in the building. That is completely unacceptable.

Part of our jobs as professional teachers is to act like professionals. Part of that professionalism is to work with coworkers, not against them. Running around, believing spiteful emails are "fighting the good fight," and that the administration is what we should be fighting against is not going to help anyone. It certainly isn't going to help the students in the school, nor is it going to rally the "troops" to a cause. What is more, teachers are attacked as being unprofessional, often times for their appearance, but also for reasons like this.

In order for our education system to improve, teachers must gain more respect from the populace. Behavior like this is not going to do it.

Today's Wine: 3 Buck Chuck pumped from yesterday

1 comment:

  1. It's so sad when people feel as though they are above their coworkers and have the right to say things like that. I also believe that it then becomes the job of administration to say something to that teacher and make sure that it doesn't happen again. It seems as though this teacher continues to set precedents without any consequences, and in my opinion, THAT is unacceptable.