Imagine the scenario if you will.
The Principal of a school in British Columbia (let’s call him Mr Bobbio) discovers that one of his teachers (let’s call him Mr Carlio) has lost control of his classroom.
Most of the kids still love Mr Carlio but every week at least one of them turns up in Mr Bobbio’s office accused of committing some misdemeanor or another.
And the word in the staff room is that factions are starting to form among the kids and that Mr Carlio tends to favour one of these factions over the others and on at least one occasion this has spilled over into a fight in the schoolyard.
By now the parents of these children have started to ask questions about whether Mr Carlio is right for the job and wondering if Mr Bobbio should intervene.
“Pupil discipline is the responsibility of the teacher” says Mr Bobbio earnestly “and these matters will be dealt with internally”.
As the school year speeds by the situation gets no better. Grade averages begin to decline, divisions begin to magnify and Mr Carlio gets more and more sarcastic when parents question his authority.
“Have you seen the funding this school receives?” he asks with mock incredulity. “The kids at the school down the street are much more intelligent than your kids” he patiently explains when questioned about poor performance.
But not even the occasional round robin missive to parents from Mr Carlio’s Teaching Assistant (let’s call him Mr Stewio) telling them that this is the happiest classroom he has ever worked in can quell their anxiety and, with just five weeks to go before the crucial end of term tests, Mr Bobbio fires Mr Carlio and appoints a substitute teacher (let’s call him Mr Craigio) to take over.
Crazy situation eh?
A Principal of a school who knew, near the beginning of the term no less, that a teacher was failing in one of the most basic aspects of his job but allowed the situation to spiral out of control and didn’t for one moment think “Maybe I should intervene?” or “Maybe I should performance manage Mr Carlio to ensure the children receive the education they deserve and the grades they are capable of?” or “Maybe the taxes the parents pay to fund my salary compels me to take a more proactive role in running this school and to not just blame everything on the teachers?”
A shocking absence of responsibility and accountability that I think we can all agree would never happen in real life.
Anyway, next time out I’ll move away from writing about the education system in British Columbia and get back to writing about the Vancouver Whitecaps.