With mild disgust I read in last week’s Times that FHUSD plans to “enhance customer experience.” I loved teaching in our district, but there is too much emphasis on parent satisfaction.
We had a saying at my house: “When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Apply this to teachers at FHUSD. Check out the teacher attrition rate. If the School Board and administration wishes to keep teachers, they need to “enhance the customer experience” of their staff. Happy, involved staffs create better experiences for students.
Instead of focusing on the parent experience, the district needs to focus on teachers and students. Over the past couple of decades, more and more educational load has been dumped on teachers. For one thing, parent emails and phone calls take time. Discipline – except for the most outrageous behavior – is now on the teacher’s responsibility list.
Yet another hurdle is attendance. Attendance monitors used to contact parents when students were absent/held conferences, etc. Now, this task belongs to the teachers, and may take yet another hour weekly.
And the largest hurdle, special education mainstreaming, takes a massive amount of time. Mainstreaming is great if students can keep up with the class level. However, when a student is misplaced and needs major accommodations, that inappropriate placement requires hours of teacher time, modifying lessons.
Parents and administrators, it’s time to enhance teacher experience. Teachers need time to create lessons, to work with students, to grade papers – to teach! Protect the time of your staff. Ask them what they need. Let teachers be the decision-makers. Hire great teachers and then stay out of their way.