Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Forget Your Place!!!!

Two things happened to me in the last week that made me connect learning to actual behavior.

In the book above Anthony Muhammad describes characteristics of staff within a school and the process of how to identify, understand, and support all members.  From the review on Google Books there are four types of staff members in a school:

The Believers are those who are committed to the learning of each student and who operate under the assumption that their efforts can make an enormous difference in that learning.
The Fundamentalists are preservers of the status quo.
The Tweeners are members of a staff who are typically new to a school and are attempting to learn its prevailing culture.
The Survivors are those who have been so overwhelmed by the stress and demands of the profession that their primary goal becomes making it through the day, the week, and the year.

Where this connects is to an e-mail I received today.  

I sent out a school wide e-mail advertising an upcoming conference and this is the response I received:

I was caught off guard and angry.  (as an aside: I have not really worked with this colleague of mine and run into them at an occasional faculty meeting.  I've been working at my school for seven years and have been seeking an administrative position for at least four years.)

I am not sure what I did to deserve this e-mail response but it happened.  As the overachiever I am, anything I run across I seek to find ways to understand.  I could play this off as just an ignorant (lacking knowledge) staff member but I refuse to think it's just that.  It must go back to culture of the building and the understanding of how this person must view and interact with the building.

Having the knowledge I have based on the insight from the book above I came to the conclusion that this teacher is a "fundamentalist."  I am not sure what prompted the e-mail but I seem to have struck a nerve about my desire to learn in grow in my profession by attending a conference.  

I am a "Believer."  I know that, for better or for worse, what I do every day makes a difference for one or more students.  I will have a face to face with this person, I hope we can overcome this and rebuild the bridge to transform our school culture.