Collaborate before making decisions

| 19 Mar 2012 | 01:19

    The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, author of Meditations, tells the story of the time a widow stops him on the road. He tells her he is traveling on important business and has no time to hear her petition for help. She replies,"If you have no time for me, you have no time to be emperor." The pointis service is what makes true kings. But more than that, Jesus Christ demonstrated that servitude is the very essence of God, that he would subjugate Himself to lift up the least of us. Servitude not from the whip but from the heart is nobility.

    But then where is the sense of nobility for the classroom teacher?Indeed are teachers not faithful servants of children? Regard for teachers over time has become a lost tradition, Why? Because year after year thieves have laid claim to teachers' nobility by mere proclamations rather than by deed."I'm For Education," saying Yes, Yes, Yes to everything put before them that sounds good without discernment, never knowing or truly understandingthe daily work of the classroom teacher.

    With the glowing lights upon them they begin to develop a sense they know best. The classroom teacher is no longer consulted except to parrot their praises. Those with other thoughts or ideas are excluded or bullied into silence.And transparency is replaced with secrecy.They are not alone. Minority board members have similar experiences. In the end, both a thorough and efficient education suffer.

    Teachers and employees must be included in any plans to improve education and support services of the district. Collaboration is where good ideas become better but nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only idea we have. Unfortunately teachers and others are shut out of any meaningful involvement of educational discussion. Recent appointments and other actions have led to this attitude. The school board needs to change this attitude in all aspects of planning by including not just those that agree with them. All that wish to serve should be welcomed into the process otherwise the West Milford School District will become a graveyard of talent.

    John Aiello Hewitt Note:This ismy opinion and not necessarily that of the West Milford school board.