One Sunflower

Dear Superintendent,

on February 17, 2010


Thanks for inviting me to be a part of the task force today.  I noticed many of the teachers in the room have been a part of leadership teams in the past but there were some new faces. I was also pleased that a member of the school board sat with us for part of the day.

You called this meeting to revisit our current teacher standards; your reasons were compelling given the present climate calling for improved practice among teachers.  It was heartening to hear you say this work is important regardless of whether there is money attached to it or not.  Many of us in the room found it satisfying to review comparable documents today and find that our current set of standards is pretty good and won’t need much tweaking. But having them in place is only half of the process.  As one teacher put it, they are only words on paper if there aren’t protocols and systems to use them as benchmarks for teacher performance.

I get the feeling the principals in our district squirmed when you questioned them in December about their own levels of performance as instructional leaders. I also know this group of principals is an especially responsive group of administrators and they have been ramping up their efforts to improve teacher practice and help us truly evaluate our work and intervention strategies. 

Good role models won’t be enough in this work but I think they are a great start.  Kudos to you for your bugle call, your transparency, your consistent hammering that our core beliefs be at the center of our work.


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