Friday, November 9, 2007

The Road to Becoming Highly Qualified

I have invested in my professional growth. It is up to me to determine what kind of dividends will follow. The PSS has announced it cannot, due to severe budget cuts, reclassify certain employees or continue to adjust salaries for highly qualified staff. A few weeks ago I was ready to throw in the towel. The grass was turning brown on my end of the education lawn, and I felt that I could no longer rely in the system to pay me what I'm worth. I have since reconsidered my feelings. The question began with that very thought, "What am I worth?" If I decided to adhere to the requirements of my job, what were the motivating factors? I have decided they were either:

1. To satisfy the requirements so that I would be able to meet the salary scale for promotion.
2. To satisfy the requirements and bring the knowledge I obtained back to the school where it would be the most beneficial.

I realized that the PSS has also invested in me. It put its trust in my ability to make sound judgments about the quality of services we bring to our students. It asked me to do what I needed to in order to acquire the requisite knowledge incumbent of someone in my position. It also trusted that I would remain focused on the strategic priorities put before us. It is a mutual relationship, based on trust.

Now that I know compensation is nearly impossible, what will I do with my investment? I will continue to invite the powers that be, the legislature, the Board and the central office leadership to look at all options with scrutiny, keeping in mind equality for it's employees and validation for those who deserve it. If there is a way to compensate those deserving, including myself, without sacrificing those who do not have a voice, our children, then I plea with them to find it. If we must all suffer because there is no other viable option, then I request that no one is left behind.

I realize this is no easy task. I am also aware that there are critical eyes watching our every move, criticizing every step we make. They are asking what they need to sacrifice so that PSS goes untouched. It's not such a bad question. Some have asked why we should remain untouched. I do not begrudge them the thought.

Still, I am here and at the end of my road, having become NCLB approved and highly qualified. Not much is up to me anymore. I look to the powers that be and hope that they can see beyond budget cuts and continuing resolutions. Will I leave PSS? One day, when I, like everyone else reach my own level of incompetence. For now, there is much work to be done. It is work that cannot wait for boards to convene and policy to be drafted.

I commend everyone who has been vocal and continues to voice their concerns. We need to remedy some wrongs for more people than teachers and administrators. Our family is in need, this includes program managers, central office staff and support personnel PSS-wide. The critical dialogue cannot wait until inauguration.


Before you decide, think hard. What was so super about youth?
Glen might have a list for this somewhere.


bigsoxfan said...

If there is a list of good thoughts and positive insight, then you are on it. Tomorrow is Sunday, Bless you and your family.

glend558 said...

Here's to you Boni:
The world of a young and single woman, what she can do and don't have do.
I can use my time how I want to.
I can spend my money any way I want to. In addition,
I can surf the Internet as long as I want.
I can eat what I want when I want.
I can take naps whenever I want.
I can be dressed in my pajamas at home.
I can go where I want when I want.
I can go out with whomever I wish.
I can be friendly and smile at every guy in the room without a husband to get jealous.
I can go to a party every Friday night if I like.
I can have soup and a sandwich for dinner, every night, while curled up with a good book.
I can always find alone time which is very important to me.
I don't have to keep my place clean.
I don't have to explain things I do.
I don't have to be on anyone else's schedule.
I don't have to worry about disturbing someone else with my snoring.
I don't have to constantly worry about whether a relationship will end suddenly.
I don't have to constantly worry about when to call next, how much space to give, etc...
I won't have to worry about running out of minutes on my cell phone.
I don't have to try to impress anyone.
I don't feel bad if I don't vacumn up the dog hair as often as I need to.
I don't get awakened by someone snoring!
The bed is mine, all mine.
No snoring.
Grocery bill is smaller.
Water bill is smaller.
I own what I want to do with my time.
Simply not pulled in as many directions!!
The toilet seat can stay up.
Missed all your comments.. Know you were very busy, good for you!

Anonymous said...

It is so sad when the very system that is set up to help children become so entangled in its own mess that it cannot effectively serve those to whom it was meant to serve. I will keep you and the others in my thoughts.

Boni said...

Glen: thanks for the list, it brought back many memories. Steve and BSox: Validation comes in many forms, not just monetary. Your thoughts and blessings are treasures.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

It was a lot of fun, Boni. But doesn't compare to a ride on an urban subway for sheer terror, entertainment and graffiti.

It's important that you don't get to feeling that the cuts and the missing back pats are directly related to you as an individual, Boni. Yes, they affect you personally, but are not directed thus. IF there is no money, whether it was all poorly planned, poorly financed, poorly spent or not makes little difference in the here and now. Those things can all be improved to make the future better, but in the here and now it looks like cuts (and my opinion is they should be absolutely across the board and thus fair to all) appear to be necessary.

Lets hope and work toward things getting better in the future. But I cannot remember any school system, anywhere I have ever lived on the planet saying “thanks, we’ve got all the money we need- spend the rest elsewhere”. Won’t be happening.

Yep, it’s the kids who are ultimately shortchanged, but they are resilient and if you and your staff can get the learning attitude and the learning habit ingrained in them, they’ll be okay. Hang in there!! You’re doing a great job.