Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What We Learned from Annette Breaux 4.0

This is the fourth and final post in a series of reflections on our visit with Annette Breaux.

As I boarded an airplane this morning for a curriculum mapping conference led by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, I made sure to notice the affect and mood of the pilot. Much to my relief, the pilot smiled and seemed to be having a good day. As I buckled my seat belt and checked to be sure my seat back and tray table were in the upright-and-locked position, I thought about something Annette Breaux said to us. Annette compared teachers before class to pilots before flights. Their moods can determine how the rest of the day will go for the people under their care and protection. Who wants to hear a pilot moan and groan and talk about how bad he feels and how rotten his life is? Who wants to hear that from a teacher? Even if the pilot is having a rough go of it, I want him to fake it, smile at me and say "Welcome aboard!" As a student, I'd feel the same way about my teacher.

I am quite sure teachers feel the same way about administrators. Just as a plane full of people will feel uncomfortable with a gloom-and-doom pilot, a building full of teachers will feel uncomfortable with a moody, negative administrator. The mood of an administrator can energize or zap the morale of a faculty just like a pilot might if he complained to passengers as they boarded a plane.

Thanks, Annette, for the analogy and thanks for the great advice you passed along during your visit with us earlier this month.

No comments: