Colleagues,

Thank you to the more than 1600 RTA members who joined today’s Telephone Town Hall. As promised during my update, I want to offer some clarification about questions and concerns raised by the emails from the District concerning expectations from teachers in the Continuity of Instruction effort. 

The entire content and tone of the emails to you from Superintendent Dade and Deputy Superintendent Lynda Quick, per our discussions with them, was predicated on our shared trust for teachers and confidence in teachers’ professional judgement. That’s what agreed to with the Superintendent prior to these communications being sent. Some principals and chiefs, however, are apparently interpreting the content and tone of these communications differently. They are micromanaging teachers, distrusting teachers, asking for evidence, making excessive demands and taxing teachers’ time and energy with unreasonable and unnecessary “requests.”  Some are even implying that they can evaluate you based on your receptivity to their excessive expectations. This unnecessarily burdens teachers and detracts from instruction of our students.

Consistent with our conversations and agreement with Superintendent Dade and Deputy Superintendent Quick, we have brought this to their attention so that they could address and rectify those instances. If you have similar concerns, please bring them to the attention of your RTA Faculty Representatives. If they cannot resolve the issues with the principal, we ask that the Faculty Representatives bring it to our attention and we will address  it with the Superintendent.

Keeping record of your work, whether it’s a log, a file, or another format, is indeed a good idea. But that’s for your own purpose and you need not hand it in. Notifying your principal about students that cannot be reached is an expectation – but then it is up to the principal to follow through. Your principal’s requests, recommendations, invitations or suggestions are just that: suggestions. You decide whether it is useful and necessary. If it’s unclear whether it’s a directive or not, ask for clarification or ask your RTA Faculty Representatives to ask for clarification.

Thank you for all you do every day for all your students. Your professionalism and dedication is commendable and worthy of trust and respect.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President