Hothouse Plants or Just Human Beings?

Faculty in schools are sometimes likened to hothouse plants: they perform well under optimal conditions, but drop the temperature a degree or two and very quickly things go bad. This infamous lack of resilience drives administrators crazy. The least little stressor seems to have such an exaggerated effect on teachers.

This item by Rob Jenkins in the Chronicle of Higher Education speaks to ways managers in schools destroy faculty morale. Interesting that the list is very much like what kills morale in almost any industry. What strikes me is how few school managers rate themselves as guilty of acting in any of these ways, and how many faculty see it just the opposite. We find this quite regularly in 360-degree assessments of mid-level (and top level) school leaders.

Teachers may be hothouse plants, but maybe school managers unwittingly make the problem worse.

Business and leadership, Evaluation, Headship  |  permalink

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