Professionalism in the public system

It was a shocking sight – teachers flagrantly having a conversation in front of the Principal and Deputy as another Deputy presented a session of professional learning. Just flat out having a chat, blatantly, in front of the boss. Surely this wouldn’t happen in a private organisation. I asked my small business owner housemate about this. She has run several successful businesses over decades. She said it wouldn’t fly in her business, and she was shocked that this would be the behaviour of our public school teachers. Yet the Principal seemed to accept the state of affairs and was apparently powerless to change it. It’s a sign that teachers have too much power, and executive staff not enough. And it’s a sign of the lack of professionalism in the system. I suspect that the levels of power and the level of professionalism are related – you get away with what you can get away with, unless you have very strong principle and self-restraint. With my perspective on the decline in standards in our society,  I don’t have great faith in principles and self-restraint. We need to change ourselves, and we need a better, more incentive-compatible system.

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