As I reflect on some of the dynamics of what we are asking… or denying our school board, administration, teachers and students I cannot help but reflect on my own life experiences. I think we likely all do. We filter new situations and considerations through the lens of our own life experiences and observations.
So ask yourself…
Consideration One –Advice
Have you ever had one of those jobs where it seemed everyone else acted as if they knew how to do your job better then you?
I know I have. And the thought that usually went through my head was, you know, you’re right! Gee, I’d never thought of that.
Of course not.
Unless the advice was coming from someone I knew had stood where I stood or demonstrated the full knowledge of all the non-obvious extenuating circumstances, resources limitations, knowledge of what had gone on before, likely outcomes etc. etc. I was not inclined to take their well meaning advice. They simply didn’t fully realize the non-obvious context of what my job entailed.
We’ve all been through school so of course each of us are experts on all things education related, right? Truth is, we likely know nothing at all about all the behind-the-scenes detail; budgets, government/labor requirements, personnel considerations, facilities conditions, etc. etc. that makes it all happen. But no matter, with limited insight we know what’s best, affordable and do-able.
Of course we need oversight. Debate and consideration of alternate options and knowledgeable stewardship of our tax dollars and children’s education is expected. That is why we vet, elect and communicate with our elected board, yes?
You did attend sessions prior to electing your school board candidates didn’t you? You did vote wisely didn’t you?
Consideration Two – Resources
Try this one on.
Have you ever experienced where you’ve done a good job? In fact not only had you done a good job you’d done a @%#$ good job in spite of limited resources, time, budget, you name it. Often times there were circumstances your boss didn’t even realize you were having to work with. In fact, at times it was management themselves who imposed the greatest hurdles, often without realizing they were doing so.
But you did it. You made it happen anyway @%#$it! Further, it’s not just someone’s opinion, you have numbers. You could demonstrate objectively by management’s own yard stick that you’d excelled.
When this has happened have you considered, why does management not provide me/us the resources to do even more? Surely they can see what we’re capable of if only given the resources. Heck, we’d be happy if they just removed the shackles holding us back.
We’ve all been there. And sometimes if fortunate, that is exactly what happens. Our employer then reaps the benefit of expanding the business, improving profitability, greater client service, what-have-you.
But sometimes the reverse is also true. The response we get is, “Congratulations, you’ve done a great job. You’ve proven yourself worthy. Now, we’d like to see what you could do with even less”.
Have you experienced that one? I have.
Consideration Three — What we’re asking for as a community
I propose, this is the predicament we impose on our community’s elected school board, administration, teachers and staff.
I propose, this is the predicament we impose on our own community’s children.
Do not doubt, our school district’s trained professionals, elected board, teachers and staff have performed exceedingly well. They have the numbers to prove it. They have and continue to receive recognition from external, independent, autonomous professional educators. Indeed, these professional educators are traveling to Beloit to see how we are doing it.
Our children likewise have demonstrated improved performance, this in spite of diminishing resources and a list of challenges. They too have the numbers to prove it. These educators traveling to Beloit are coming to see and investigate for themselves what our community’s children are doing given the environment in which they’re doing it.
Holding out for “Better”?
A “better” opportunity will not present itself. Listen to what the “better” being proposed is. Listen closely. In fact what is being proposed is keeping what we have and expanding the patches. We risk increased loan rates and construction costs. ALL independent analysis points to these going up. These changes could wipe out millions of dollars of currently proposed improvements. Yes, you’re hurting. You’re not alone. We’re all hurting and struggling to work our way out of this economy. However…
“Better” in fact is not better. It cannot be. “Better”, in the end, will end up being less.
We have before us now our best opportunity. If we choose not to step up and help ourselves, where/how could we expect things to get better.
Those choosing “better”, please turn the lights off when we’re all gone.
So, what will be your response?
- “Good work! Let’s retool the referendum to something that merely patches what you already have and perpetuate the current environment”
- “Good work! Let’s not have any referendum. Let’s see what you can do with less?”
We as a community have demonstrated years of disinvestment and trimming. This to the point that we’ve had to make hard decisions between teachers, programs and deferred maintenance. Frankly, we’ve chosen teachers for which we’re now criticized for roofs and boilers. Frankly, there’s simply no more to give.
We have before us is an offer to meet us dramatically more than half way.
If we choose not to support our teachers, board, administration and our own children with improved resources and removing of restrictions what would you suppose their response to be?
I ask you. What would yours be?
Please vote yes on April 3rd.