The Educrats Thwart Learning In The School Buildings!
By Dr. John Trotter

[This article originally appeared in the The Atlanta Journal-Constituion.]

Classroom educators are the only real educators in the school system because they are the only people who actually interact with students each day. The rest of the folk are just what I call "educrats." The educrats have cushy jobs which enable them to live a "life of Reilly," whether located in the school building or in some central office-type building. These are the jobs for which people aspire, especially the ones located outside the school buildings. (The high school principalship, if performed correctly, is actually the toughest job in public schooling. Note that I said "if performed correctly.")

These educrats like to snoopervise teachers and make their lives miserable. I actually think that the educrats also have some warped notion that this is what administrators/supervisors are supposed to do. So-called leadership by intimidation rather than inspiration, I presume. This type of unleadership has been discounted in the businessworld for years. It just does not work. As an administrator, I could always get the teachers to go the extra mile (without even asking them) because they appreciated the fact that I supported them, valued them, respected them, esteemed them (get the picture?). There is no respectable psychologist in the past or current who advocates scaring the heck out of the professionals under your supervision and causing them undue stress in order to obtain more effective job performance from them. If we want self-actualizing professionals to work with our sensitive and fragile children, then being a harsh task-master toward the teachers will only cause them to focus on their own needs (ala Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Kurt Lewin, et al.). A satisfied need no longer motivates a person. For the teacher to be a self-actualizing individual, then the teacher's lower needs (physical, safety, esteem, security, social, etc.) must first be satisfied. This is just basic theory.

These educrats do not tend to be too hip to academe (and certainly are not scholars in the true sense), are oblivious to good theory on how to treat fellow humans. They tend to operate on bad theory, not even realizing that there are any theories of behavior involved. They work on the intimidation model of bad conduct. Perhaps because they are so insecure about their own jobs amounting to essentially nothing but (A) inane paperwork being foisted on the teachers and (B) insane evaluations being manipulated in a way that scares the teachers even more, these educrats are bent on treating the real educators (the ones in the classroom) like their are pariahs instead of "saviors" for the children. These insipid educrats and "insultants" (a name which my father used to call central office consultant when he was a principal) see the teachers as the enemies rather than comrades committed to educating children. Their behavior, I believe, is deeply rooted in insecurity and ignorance. I presume by now that you can tell that I don't suffer educational fools very well, especially when they are "mean as cat s--t and twice as nasty," to quote my grandfather.

Yes, these educrats should be the first to be jettisoned, as I clearly pointed out to Governor Perdue when I wrote to him in July about the furloughs. A 25% to 35% cut in the educrats in Georgia would be a good start. It would not hurt education one bit; in fact, it will actually help the school environments which will, hopefully, improve student achivement. You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions, and these educrats simply screw up good teaching conditions. (c) MACE, September 3, 2009.

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