No matter the pressures, perceived or real, in order to move the conversation away from tenure and toward offering students the best education possible, investment in developing all teachers is paramount.
Most of us spend more than 1/3 of our day at work and if you are going to spend that much time in one place, then you will never truly maximize your own leadership potential unless the organization aligns to your personal values.
We have a responsibility to move toward more blended, flipped, and online learning. Music has its place in this shift. We watch with interest as more K-12 schools, colleges, and universities have successful transitions as they include more students in learner-centered online educational experiences, including music.
It is ultimately the responsibility of those who have chosen to step up and lead schools to be those bridge builders, who understand how to balance the power, listen to all voices, and be the rudder to the ship that is our changing educational environment.
In order to use the potential that technologies offer our learners, investment in teachers is required. Knowing teachers' mindsets, their fears, and concerns and attending to them while leading forward is crucial. Developing their interest in and their appreciation for the application of these technologies is essential.
Our contribution to the next generation of leaders in our country begins with our interactions with our students. If we included the concept of understanding other perspectives in our curriculum and our practice with students and each other, over time, perhaps we could contribute to a more compassionate graduate.
We are suggesting flipped learning with the purpose of teaching empathy; learning how to listen to, truly hear, and understand other perspectives. The practice of designing learning that embeds the understanding of perspective and the valuing of those who hold other perspectives may yield future graduating classes that offer welcome to commencement speakers with a wider range of views.
Behaviors are influenced by outside forces. We know that and see it all the time. But does playing a video game turn someone toward anti-social behaviors?
Teachers cannot work at the "whim" of a board or leader. School faculties cannot be turned over every time a leader changes. Employment cannot be threatened every time a teacher speaks out in support of an unpopular idea or against a policy or disciplines a child or doesn't pick the "right" child for the play or team.
To maintain an environment built upon teachers' care and concern about the wellbeing of their students, care and concern need to return to the conversation.