Monday, October 18, 2004

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Classroom Principal?
The EdWonk clipped this photo from The San Diego Union Tribune. The article was about how San Diego County schools face sanctions under the Federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The photograph is of Principal Marti Urias-Islas helping an eighth grade student at National City Middle School.

There is something wrong about the picture. Can you figure it out?

Just about any practicing classroom teacher could tell you in the proverbial New York minute. Take a look at her perfectly coiffed hair, well-done nails, and lovely make up. She is quite photogenic, and who can resist the motif of the caring administrator helping a child?

That's right, it's just a photo-op.

Any classroom teacher can tell you that school principals almost never go into the classroom and actually teach children. A typical school administrator is horrified by the thought of actually going back into the classroom. In fact, it's thought of as a demotion. That's not to say that school administrators don't actually care for kids, many of them do. Most just don't care to teach. Many will profess to "miss the classroom" but very few actually will go back for even a few hours.

It's too bad that this newspaper chose to photograph a principal doing what principals very rarely do instead of honoring a classroom teacher by showing how he or she will serve children for an entire career.