Friday, May 17, 2013

Principal Sappenbottom and the Workshop Model

by special guest blogger Curious Teacher

Assistant Principal Sappenbottom got a promotion: she was now Principal Sappenbottom. She got a raise, she got a bigger, more private office, and now she really could exercise her prerogative to do nothing as all she had to do was close the door and say she was in a meeting. She was the principal. Who was going to bother her? The students? They didn't even know who she was.

Principal Sappenbottom attended a Principal's Workshop in which she was told that the new educational model of learning was the Workshop Model. All desks now had to be arranged in groups and students worked together every day in those set groups. Ideally they would walk through different "workstations" as students progressed through the lesson.

This sounded good to Principal Sappenbottom. It was the New Thing. And so she sent out an edict that from now on, all lessons had to be based around the Workshop Model. AP's were instructed to give "U's" to teachers who didn't follow the Workshop Model.

One AP objected. He pointed out that the Workshop Model was great for some classes and lessons, but might not work every day, in every class, and particularly not in his subject. This made Principal Sappenbottom mad. She already disliked this AP and now that she was principal, who was he to question her edicts?

But this AP stuck to his refusal to "U" rate any teacher who wasn't following the Workshop Model. She got madder and madder. It was so much work, having to observe these teachers herself and "U" rate them for not following the Workshop Model if the AP wasn't willing to do it.

But Principal Sappenbottom had a creative solution. She was principal now! She could fire her AP's! So she fired this Non Workshop Model AP and put in place an AP that swore that he'd enforce the Workshop Model as strictly as possible. Old AP was out, much to the consternation of his department.

The next year, the Workshop Model was Out and replaced by The New Thing. Now the principal issued a new edict: "U" rate all teachers still using the Workshop Model and not using the New Thing. This time all the AP's complied.
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