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Tim in Philadelphia

Well, I now feel better. When I was a juinor in college I participated in what amounted to a pre-student teaching experience. Once a week, I spent half the day at an elementary school.
At the end of the experience, I received my evaluation. I was marked "unsatisfactory" under the "professionalism" category. The reason? I never once wore a tie. The thing that made it strange/funny/absurd was prior to my first day the teacher called me and told me I didn't have to wear a tie. She noted that in the comments section but wrote "even though I told him he didn't have to wear a tie, I thought he would get the hint from the other male teachers wearing ties". I was a 20 year old kid. Tell a 20 year old he doesn't have to wear a tie, and chances are he won't wear one! Duh!
I appreciate you let your staff know what you are expecting. There is nothing worse than a "gotcha" kick in the gut by a superior. The very first day I wasn't wearing a tie, my mentor teacher should have pulled me aside and said, "hey, I know I told you not to wear a tie, but on second thought, could you start wearing one next time? Thanks!". I would have and thought nothing of it.
Not sure the point of my above story. Other than the "tie lady" must be a sister of your "mustache person" and a cousin of your "broken door person".
You were probably hoping the evaluation would give you things to work on as a principal and a leader. It didn't.
The thing that upset me the most about my "tie lady" student teaching experience, wasn't that I got marked down as unprofessional. Over the years since the incident (this happened in 1994 or 1995) I have learned that there is much, much more to being a professional educator than how one dresses or what one wears or doesn't wear around their neck.
What upset me the most was that this person didn't once offer me ANY encouragement or comment (negative, positive or otherwise!) after any of my lessons. No advice, nothin'.
And that was the biggest shame of it all.

Greg Farr

PRECISELY! Thank you for adding a great example of what I'm talking about. I bet if we collected similar stories, we'd have a list of incredible examples of how we have inadvertently made otherwise SUPERIOR teachers feel completely inferior with either misplaced or unclear personal expectations.


Thanks for sharing the brochure. It gave a concrete way for me to view my own bias both positive and negative. I have been working on being more deliberate and definitive in my leadership focusing on vision. In this post I think you have given a great vision for how we can effect change and turn vision into action.

Kelly Christopherson

Thanks for the reminder. We often forget that we need to TELL people what we expect. Without this, people cannot know what it is they are to do. I'm often reminded of this when a new Educational Assistant begins a position. It doesn't take long before I find out if the person can or can't read minds since no one ever tells them of the expectations. Oh, they get the "handbook" but they are not told by a teacher what is expected in the room. They tend to have to figure this out by themselves. Thanks for the brochure and for reminding those of us who lead that we need to share what we expect if we want the same from those with whom we work.


I think also administrators need to place high value on teachers defining self-expectations and then make sure the supports they need to meet them are in place.

And what's wrong with mustaches?

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