Montana Catholic Schools Weekly
November 16, 2014
Spinning Our Wheels
With the onset of colder weather, I have begun taking a spinning class once or twice a week at the health club. While spinning today with my 4th different instructor, I began to think about how the health club measures the effectiveness of its spinning instructors. As a side note, please note that I was engaging in the type of creative thinking about work outside of the work environment mentioned in the article entitled “How Your ‘Always Busy’ Pace is Ruining Your Decision-Making” that can be found below.
I would imagine that the health club doesn’t evaluate its instructors. I doubt that an instructor receives any feedback other than the number of “students” who take his/her class. It’s literally “voting with their seats.” The club probably takes a look at which classes are popular and offers more classes to that instructor and drops unpopular instructors from the rotation. Or the club assumes that instructors will drop out themselves when they detect they are losing popularity.
This "customer service" model is designed to be reactive to customer complaints as opposed to assuming a responsibility to be better.
How many principals do the same? Do they assume that parents will request that their students be removed from a poor teacher? That teachers will lose interest in teaching at that school once they figure out that they are unpopular? Or when a principal subsequently assigns a teacher to a less-than-desirable position, the teacher will leave to find a new job? Or that things will just take care of themselves and we’ll all ignore the deficiencies and make it through the year? Don't our students deserve better?
At the club, all the spinning instructors would benefit from feedback. One should hear that her music is played so loud that I simply cannot hear her instructions. Another gives strange, indecipherable instructions like “turn it up!” What does that mean? Another instructor yells and grunts so loud it’s distracting and at times, disturbing. One instructor is a teacher at heart. She tells us what the workout is going to be, explains how to read the numbers on our computers, and explains step by step how we are reaching the goal. She deserves to know that she is delivering a great lesson. And other instructors need to know why she is successful.
Our students deserve the best instruction they can receive. Not because their parents are paying tuition, not because those same parents might be complaining. Our students deserve the best instruction simply because they are ours.
We are just getting through parent-teacher conferences and the first quarter of the year. Some of them are coasting, some are disappointed in their performance, and some of them are highly discouraged.
Now is the time to deliver feedback to your teachers to improve their teaching and uplift their spirits. Focus on what they are doing well and the little ways they can improve.
Dr. Tim Uhl
De La Salle Blackfeet School
St. Matthew's (Kalispell)
The rosary greets you in the main office. Religious symbols are everywhere!
St. Matthew at St. Matthew's
Out of the bag, St. Matt is now proudly displayed at the home of the saints
The Week Ahead
Tuesday: Missoula Regional Principal meeting @ Loyola-Sacred Heart (10-2). Principals should look for a separate email with information
Wednesday: Great Falls Principal meeting 10-2 @Great Falls Central Catholic
Thursday: Billings principal meeting 10-2 @St. Patrick Administration Center
Friday: office (Helena)
Saturday: state championship football game (Dillon @ Butte Central)
Next week: 960 miles
Last week: 230 miles
This year: 13,162
Great Falls Study Commission
American Catholic News
- Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, the new president, outlined his vision for their work: http://goo.gl/IEKPag.
- Archbishops Flores and Lucas outlined the value of Catholic schools: http://goo.gl/TZYKOS
- The value of minority students and diversity within our schools was mentioned: http://goo.gl/JgwBwk
- The Bishops stress the value of schools: http://goo.gl/cduhKO
- The Diocese of Grand Rapids has set lofty goals for tuition assistance: http://goo.gl/Tpyr7w
- And Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia came out with an articulate statement on the value of Catholic schools entitled "Equipping Saints": http://goo.gl/a1J7el
- The latest summary on the USCCB meeting: http://goo.gl/yFD1f0