The other day I was sitting at lunch with several colleagues and heard a phrase that I’ve learned to hate this year: “I’m not doing that.” I’ve seen so many things fall through the cracks this year simply because teachers don’t want to do something they disagree with. We have several programs that we have tried to implement this year that haven’t been used effectively because teachers refuse to do it. This is the reason that our token economy has had no impact whatsoever. This is why our students hate our character education programs. Teachers don’t like it, so they don’t do it.
I’ll admit it, I haven’t been perfect at this either. However, I think all of this stems from an attitude of entitlement – that when a boss tells you to do something you have the option to do or not do it. “I deserve this” and “I deserve that.” “I don’t HAVE to do that.” Not doing something is very rarely a solution to the problem. In most career fields, if you don’t do something your boss asks you to, you get disciplined or fired. If you constantly complain and refuse to do things – even in a school – you aren’t going to be liked and your words of criticism will be dismissed anyway.
Not doing something is very rarely a solution to the problem.
On the other hand, if you are a team player and perform a required task even though you aren’t a fan of it, your words carry weight. I once heard my pastor, in talking about our denomination, say, “because I follow the rules, I can complain.” If you are reliable, trustworthy, and obedient, you will succeed in building good work relationships. And more importantly, you will do what’s best for your students. That’s what it’s all about anyway, right?
More importantly, you will do what’s best for your students. That’s what it’s all about anyway, right?
My challenge to you, friends, is to finish out this year with an attitude that represents your willingness to be part of the team and do what’s best for your students, even if it’s not always doing something you enjoy or agree with.