Doesn’t that just sound obvious? Doesn’t that just seem fair?
I read this on the TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) website today. http://bit.ly/bXLH3h It talks about how teachers in the school district are going to be paid by how well they teach and how well their students progress. They have been getting ready for this for 3 years. The principles of the schools have to evaluate probationary teachers 8 times a semester and 4 times for non probationary teachers. The teachers then discuss the observations and get feed back from the principles. Most of the teachers that have been involved feel this observation and feedback is helpful. It’s cool because the district has had the teachers involved in the process the whole time. So there is some pretty good buy in from most. Of course there are disenters. The article brings up a point from an art teacher, “You can’t test on art” But the article doesn’t refute the point. You can test on art. There are rules to effective art and to be a truly great artist you have to know the rules. And if you break the rules you better have a good reason.
One of the thing that came to my mind is that some people are just going to be better than other people and we need to help those those that aren’t so good. I think we should try harder to help each other find out what we do best. For instance, I worked with a mentally and physically challenged lady in a company. She could do basic office work, she was not the best, but she was at work on time everyday and would do work no one else wanted to do. She never complained, she just did her work. She didn’t make much money.
While working at that office my wife delivered our second child. The day I came back to work. This lady gifted me a hand knitted afghan. It was beautiful and it was perfect. I couldn’t believe how well it was made. She said she had made it for us in the previous couple of days. I asked here how long it took her to make it. She said it took 6 to 8 hours. I thought, she should be making those for a living. I wish I had more money to setup an campaign to market these amazing afghans for her. I still wish I could.
One of my life’s goals is to help people find what they are best at doing and enjoying.
Back to the teachers in Colorado Springs. I am hoping compensations plans like this will help people discover what they are best at.
I believe a desire to be good is also key. I think compensation that rewards excellence helps motivate those that want to be better find ways to innovate and become better.
There are those that seem to be naturally gifted. I think about professional sports players. Many seem to be naturally gifted. It is true in basket ball those that are tall have an advantage. But a closer look at people like Michael Jordan. They just have some sort of internal motivation that overcomes there lack of natural advantages. We see them play on TV and are amazed. What we don’t see is the countless hours of effective practice to be able to play on TV. Notice I said effective, effective is the key.
There is a misconception that practice makes perfect. Effective practice makes perfect. For instance if I take a rifle out to a shooting range and just start shooting It doesn’t necessarily make me a better marksmen. Only when I have a target and watch where each shot scores. Listening to a friend that has won shooting awards he said even controlling your breathing makes a better shooter.
If we are trying to motivate teachers to be better we need a way to find which teachers are the most effective and why. Then we can share that with other teachers and help them be better. We really should be doing this in most companies. People should have a target to shoot for and be able to see if they are hitting the target.
I think all industries should pay this way. Of course that would be Utopia doing what we like doing, were good at and got paid good money for doing.
We all need to demand this and the world will change.