In which I learn what "servant leadership" really means
You know, every day, I try to learn something. It may be something unpleasant, but those are the risks one takes.
Today's knowledge nugget came courtesy of two assistant principals. Now, if you're a regular reader here, you know that we are undergoing massive administrator flight. One of these of whom I speak is already on the wing and one is frantically on the lookout for a new job like an emaciated robin looking for a worm fool enough to pop its head up.
Half the principals were missing as I headed to duty-- who knows where they were, but hey, the halls still awaited clearing so I just shrugged the shoulders and headed back to the dungeon, the remote part of the building where I cast a wide net for all kinds of lurkers who should be in class and doing other inconsequential tasks like learning. So I had just had an extraordinary encounter with a young person who was pretty out-of-control, and so I had to do the paperwork, which I hate to do. I really try to avoid even getting to that point for my own sanity, but this couldn't be avoided, and there are lines that can't be crossed. But when I tried to turn in the referral, neither one of them initially wanted to take it, and basically asked me what I expected THEM to do with it. The bitter taste from swallowing all the smart-aleck comments that rose unbidden in my throat was almost more than I could bear. One shunted me off to another guy, and the other guy tried to shunt me off elsewhere, but I wouldn't be shunted at that point, and I think I got a glint in my eye so that at least I could hand off the damn thing and head back to my post like a good soldier.
But I was pretty annoyed by the time I was finally relieved of my little stack of paper. I am directed to help them with their supervision, and they give me grief. As a teacher, I already understand that I am here to serve the students. I don't have an office door that I can shut to get some work done, like some, so I'm always pretty busy. But apparently this "servant leadership" thing that I keep hearing all these administrators and candidates suddenly talking about means that they are leading a bunch of THEIR servants. Here I thought it was in a kind of Biblical meaning, as in Jesus admonishing the apostles that he came not to be served but to serve. We, the teachers, live to serve at their pleasure! Now I get it!
****Updated: I very gently and tactfully expressed my feeling about this encounter to the two individuals involved. Result? One immediate, very sincere apology, and one justification for behavior. Comme si, comme ca.