I came across this post today about “coasting teachers” which I felt contained some rather offensive language. My view is that if you wish to make a point you should try to do so without using sentences like “They are worn-out dishcloths festering in their own stagnant water making the school corridors stink”. The general tenor of the post was that something needed to be done about so called coasting teachers and the writer provided 10 clues for spotting a “coasting teacher”, which I reproduce here:
1. They move with all the energy of a stone trough
2. They are happy not to fulfil their potential
3. They feel under attack by any new initiative
4. They see progress as a threat
5. They toe the line but reluctantly
6. They have a closed-door policy
7. They spread negativity like Japanese knot-weed
8.They say ‘full circle’, ‘when I qualified we …’ and ‘mark my words’
9.They pride themselves on being dinosaurs
10. They have a sour face.
Having worked as a union branch secretary, I can say that I have come across the other side of the coin. I rather like the term “seagull manager” which I borrow from @ . Here are my 10 clues for spotting a “seagull manager” (as a former supporter of Brighton and Hove Albion football club I can assure them it has no connection with them!)
How to spot a “seagull manager”
- They swoop down and frighten ordinary teachers who are just getting on with their jobs.
- They cannot understand that a teacher might be content with just…well… teaching.
- They introduce an initiative to tick a box on their CV, rather than because it is needed.
- They see any criticism as a threat.(see point 10)
- They take care to follow whatever the latest educational fad is.
- They have a “3 strikes and you’re out” policy – for teachers.
- They spread bureaucratic form filling like Japanese knot-weed.
- They say “I think we all agree about X” without checking whether that is in fact the case.
- They pride themselves in staying no longer than 3 years in a job (any longer and they might have to answer for the failure/ineffectualness of their initiatives)
- They have a face like thunder if the desirability of an initiative is questioned.
I suppose the question is whether coasting teachers have become so as the result of seagull managers, or indeed vice versa. Whatever the truth of the matter, describing anyone, be they a teacher or a manager, as a worn out dishcloth festering in stagnant water, is not helpful to reasonable discussion and debate.