I was just looking through a file I have labeled “Yay Teachers!” for a noteworthy quote for a different post I have bubbling in my mind, but I came across this instead and thought I would share it. I have worked for a wide spectrum of administrators as an educator. With great effort to demonstrate some sort of professional tact, I will elaborate no further. However, let me say, that from grade 8 to grade 13-14+, the issues that arise between administration and faculty are ALL. THE. SAME. A fascinating and terrifying realization.
Here’s the joke:
A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”
The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”
“You must be a teacher,” said the balloonist.
“I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”
“Well,” answered the balloonist,”everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no ideas what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”
The woman below responded, “You must be a school administrator.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”
“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”
Someone gave that to me early in my career and I tucked it away. Scary how much it still resonates.
FYI: My file of “Yay Teachers!” material was stuff I would xerox and tape of the back of the bathroom doors or shove in people’s mailboxes when they needed a pick-me-up. Great way to boost some low morale.