Teachers Ordered To Learn From TFA

So today is a professional development day in Huntsville City Schools, and some teachers across the district are being told that they must learn to teach from teachers who have five weeks of training.

How’s that for a morale booster?

Dr. Wardynski’s been quite busy lately telling the city that the schools used to be corrupt.

But who is watching the watcher? More on this later.

Right now, highly qualified teachers, most with years of experience, but even the most inexperienced with months more experience than a Teach For America candidate, are being told that they must learn from TFA and their superb ability to create leaders.

Of course this is their own PR staff telling our teachers this. And it’s being forced on our excellent teachers as training by Dr. Wardynski, who received his excellent training from The Broad Foundation who also funds Teach For America.

So our teachers are being Professionally Developed as I write this by being told that all Teach for America “teachers” are “High-Performing,” and that non-TFAers, are by default, not. You may read the PR piece that’s being forced on our teachers for yourself, here.

You see there’s nothing wrong with teachers being told that Teaching is Leadership. Except, of course, teachers already know this.

There’s nothing wrong with teachers being told to “set big goals.” Except, of course, teachers already know and do this.

There’s nothing wrong with teachers being told to “plan purposefully.” Except, of course, teachers already know and do this.

Teachers already, everyday, make “on your feet” adjustments. That’s where experience matters.

Dr. Wardynski has paid a ton of money to “consultants” (wanna bet they were Broad Foundation funded consultants) to prove that “efficiencies needed to be made.”

One efficiency that might need to be made is not wasting teachers’ time by making them read TFA propaganda.

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. Dr. Wardynski’s been quite busy lately telling the city that the schools used to be corrupt.
    But who is watching the watcher? More on this later.

    Can’t wait!

  2. Yeah, I read the article in “The Huntsville Times,” and all I could think was, “OK, this is all old news and water under the bridge with the so-called economic corruption. Tell me something I don’t know instead of giving it a new & inflammatory name.” I wonder if I’m going to need to break out my Copi’s logic textbook from college, and with a big red pen, start labeling all of the fallacies by number.

    Luckily for him, if people don’t learn critical thinking skills, they’ll believe everything they read.


    1. YEAH Copi! Used him between 1976 and 1980. An underpaid philosophy prof once told me that he thought Copi one of the brightest men in the world: cornered the market on Intro to Logic and Symbolic Logic texts, and then settled on a professorship at the University of Hawaii. A Cover-of-the-Rolling-Stone fantasy for academicians.

      And yes, I too still consult my Copis.

      Imagine if it were required reading to graduate high school or college, have a child, or post on al.com. What a wonderful world this would be.

      And oh yeah, Russ, I’ve been thinking about this; I just assumed it wouldn’t hit the fan until August, that is, TFAs telling teachers who have been teaching for longer than the TFAs have been alive that these classroom survivors don’t know how to teach.

      No wonder they are sending TFAs in to schools in small squads. Would love to be a lizard in their faculty lounges.

  3. I love how the article says work nights and weekends and the super is telling them to work for less money while increasing the amount of reporting.

  4. I’m now glad that I was pink slipped by Ann Roy Moore last year. I honestly think I’m better off substituting every day in one of the Madison City schools than I am working as a teacher in Huntsville. At least I have a chance to teach in a system where teachers and students are valued as more than the superintendent’s pawns.

  5. I really like reading your blog. You help me know things that I would never in a million years have heard about regarding the state of our public schools. But I’ve got a question about this post. I asked a few of my teacher friends about what they did on Friday. On person told me TFA never came up at all during her training on Friday. She went on to say, “A lot of the new reporting & evaluation procedures are tough; but seem very fair and student-centered. Our good teachers are meeting all benchmarks and requirements without a hitch. Some identified shortcomings and have had to make targeted adjustments, but they see the positive results quickly. It is definitely a lot of work and this year has been a flurry of change. But, our teachers say that they see how most all of these things have been really beneficial.” Another teacher at a separate school told me, “We haven’t had anything like this at my school either. We did a Math and Reading PD all day.”

    1. Thanks for the input. I’ve verified that this was sent out to at least the schools that are likely to receive TFAers in the coming year. It’s possible that those who aren’t on that non-published list weren’t told they had to read and discuss this information.

      There do seem to be at least two standards in our system as is evidenced by the posting of student performance evaluations in public spaces at some schools but not others.

      Thanks for the info though. I do sometimes get it wrong. I’ll adjust the posting soon.

      Thanks again,

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