The always awesome Seth Godin posted a quick entry on his blog in January entitled “The cost of neutral“. He discusses an example from the business world, but it applies equally to education. Godin writes,
“Not adding value is the same as taking it away.”
What a powerful statement, particularly in the context of our current furor over “value-added” measures for teachers. It rings true for me in so many ways:
- As a teacher, if my students finish my class no better off than they would have been without me, then I have taken something from them… time and motivation.
- As a colleague, if I don’t actively participate in collaborative meetings and activities, my team is worse off than if I never attended.
- As a teacher leader, if I don’t provide professional development that is meaningful and useful to my staff, they would have been better off anywhere else.
These ring true, don’t they?