Sunday, March 23, 2014

Joplin Globe guest columnist: Morale low in Joplin R-8 because teachers know they are failures

In his latest effort to play a key role in the Joplin R-8 Board of Education race, frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist Anson Burlingame blames low morale and high turnover in the school district on incompetent teachers. In a section of his latest blog, Burlingame, directing his attack at board candidates Debbie Fort and Jeff Koch, makes the case that we should elect them since he describes the school district as a "failing organization" and who in the world would want to elect board candidates who have been there for the past eight years or ones who are backing the current administration:

My simple point, one learned over a life time of professional experience is that good performance, great performance, where it counts breeds superior morale. On the other hand, failing organizations have very low morale and people bail out of such organizations all the time, seeking greener grass on the other side of the fence.

I also note from past experience that when people complain about poor morale, they usually mean their own morale. And their morale is driven by a deep sense of failing to measure up to good standards. They are simply afraid of being fired for poor performance and lay that blame on supervisors, certainly not their own obvious shortcomings in a professional venue.


Burlingame appears to be labeling the Joplin R-8 School District as a "failing organization," but lays none of the blame on the administrators.

That goes along with some of the statements made by Superintendent C.J. Huff, who initially said that teachers were leaving the district because their spouses had found jobs elsewhere and when that ridiculous statement did not hold up, he began claiming that some of the teachers could not live up to his high standards. That is an interesting statement since many of those who have left were hired since Huff became superintendent.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Success starts at the top, and trickles down. So does failure.

Anonymous said...

CJ has such a brilliant supporter in Anson Burlingame. He has almost assuredly won support for any school board candidate running against the Huff puppets. Keep talking, Anson, you're doing a fine job to motivate your opposition.

Anonymous said...

I thought morale was low from lack of resources, lack of discipline with students, a never ending threat factor, and lack of funding for teachers. Silly me.

Anson, you are an ass, Sir.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya, Anson, I don't think the current administration is any good, either. Thanks for pointing that out for us.

Anonymous said...

OH Anson, please dispense some more pearls of wisdom from your great experience in the world. It's just so inspiring. Fool.

Teacher morale is low because teachers were successful before Huff came along. Take a short trip back in history, Anson, and study some data. Joplin was accredited with distinction for several years until Huff and Besendorfer began the systematic destruction of what had been a successful school district. None of their ideas paid off, and a responsible board would have fired them years ago instead of following them right over the cliff. Teachers used to know what they were doing, used to have the materials they needed to work with, and used to take pride in their efforts. Now they have no support, no materials, and are demoralized daily.

Stuff it, Anson.

Anonymous said...

Anson,

You are a short-sighted idiot. If teachers are demoralized, it is because we have the greatest of intentions and cannot, due to circumstances way beyond our control, do what it is we need to do in order to ensure that our students learn as we used to do. We work very, very hard and make very, very little. When teachers can go to any neighboring district and get a pay raise in the thousands, have the materials they need to help students learn, and have students who are expected to behave, you can hardly blame those teachers for leaving the district that you yourself, in your blog, have declared a failure. This is how we make our living; it is not a hobby. We have mortgages and bills just like administrators, but unlike administrators, we are paid much below the state average.
If you want to see a district succeed, pay the teachers well, treat them with respect, give them what they need, and then largely just get out of their way. That way you can demand the best teachers and not have to pick from the leftovers.

Anonymous said...

Anson reminds me of the big windbag behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. Pompous, loud, dumb and worthless. He just has a big microphone ,the Globe.

Please go back to Ohio where you came from or go to Texas with rohr or just click your heels together and get the hell out of Joplin.

Anonymous said...

High Five to 11:08, 11:16 and 5:33! Anson, get a clue!!!

Anonymous said...

Quality teachers have left the district leaving an inexperienced staff. Morale is generated from the
top and with a weak leader hiring weak upper administrators, weak principals. Strong leaders hire quality individuals to make the organization better. Sneaky firings, a lack of respect for educators and a self motivated agenda that has no regard for student achievement is the norm under this weak leadership. Beginning college students that have graduated from Joplin are struggling from a lack of
academic expectations. The best morale boost would be a new superintendent and quality individuals in leadership positions.
New board of education members are
needed to change this stagnant mess.
The real problem is who would want their district taken to the gutter-we didn't either.

Anonymous said...

This district went from pride, high morale, high expectations, quality teachers, a respect for those working with our children under Jim Simpson to
weak or no leadership. The question I have is why is Huff still here but
his little buddies on the board. Morale would improve immediately and
we could get to work for the good of the kids again. People need to vote changes for this board of education.
The patrons elect the board not HUFF.

Anonymous said...

Anson, you need to keep wearing your tinfoil hat at all times- even in bed- because it appears that the NSA has reprogramed your brain and now you think you have a lifetime of professional experience to share with others.