Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tell Your Teachers to Go to the Gym

I'm speaking metaphorically, of course. Earlier this week my family and I went to the gym to work out, not because of some New Year's resolution but rather because it's the right thing to do. When we arrived, we could hardly find a place to park. It seemed as if suddenly half the city's population suddenly decided to get healthy. Inside, the scene looked much the same as the parking lot: scores of people taking up every available machine, every bike, every weight set.

As I pondered this unusual state of affairs at the gym, I realized something and made a prediction. I realized the vast majority of these unfamiliar exercisers were trying to follow through with a New Year's resolution to get healthy, to work out, etc. I then predicted that each subsequent week parking spaces and exercise bikes alike will be easier to find. I'm so sure of this prediction, I'd bet my next paycheck that I'm right.

I'm willing to make another prediction, too. I'd be willing to bet that the quality of teaching in your classrooms for the past week has been outstanding. Here's my prediction, though: it won't last. Not to rain on your parade, but the teachers who need a reason like a New Year's resolution to get back on track in the classroom will be the same teachers who will be on cruise control once Spring Break rolls around.

Should these teachers be able to sustain good teaching on their own during the second semester? Sure. However, as an educational leader it is your responsibility to encourage those teachers who are back on track to keep up the good work, to stay on track and to fight the good fight. You can't afford to allow your rejuvenated teachers to disappear the way the January fitness junkies soon will disappear from my gym.

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