Friday, March 27, 2009

HISD offers $20,000 to recruit effective teachers

So now the Houston Independent School District is at again with another controversial program. Enticing effective teachers to work at low performing schools for 2 years for a extra stipend of $10,000 per year. Which brings us to our topic at hand. How much emphasis does a teacher have on a student's performance? How much emphasis is placed on a student who has a supportive family? In a few years we are all about to find out.
I, for one, can't help but think about the teachers who are effective at those low income schools? How do they feel about this new venture? What are their feelings about this? If I was working at one of those schools, I would be extremely upset. I would take this effort as a personal insult and if I wasn't already feeling discouraged, you better believe that would be exactly how I would feel then. The message that I would be getting is "You are not good enough, so we're going to spend more money to get someone better". Hmmmmmmm.....nice. here's my two cents on this matter. I strongly believe and support every school to want to strive to become better, however NOT at the expense of morale of the entire staff. Two scenarios that I think are being overlooked: (1) New teacher coming in is not full accepted by the staff and (2) Staff morale has now dropped causing an even more lack of production.
You want a better school.....than you build it from the ground up. Start with what you have and grow from there. Have the stronger teachers lead and model what they have been doing well, and emphasize those skills. Bring in the parents and hold them accountable for what goes on at home. You can't expect a student who does no reading at home, but plays video games, to excel on his exams.
Doing this will show the faculty that YOU believe in them, and that as a team YOU ALL can raise the scores TOGETHER. Higher morale will inturn lead to student statisification....which in turn will lead to less office refferals....which will lead to more time learning. Now...where's my $20,000?

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