by Richard Warren Seltzer, Sr., Orange, CT 06477. email@example.com
Copyright © 1957 Richard Warren Seltzer
The relations between one man and another are as old as men himself. Ever since there were two human beings on earth. there hare been human interactions. Early man sometimes worked with his neighbors and sometimes worked against them in his efforts to obtain the necessities of life. In both situations human relations were taking place. Man had to learn that when several men killed a prize for the table, each had to share with the others. Living together in primitive villages men learned to interact satisfactorily for their mutual defence.
The early crude attempts at human relations were greatly refined when Jesus of Nazareth brought to man a new concept through his words:
"... love one to another" (John 13:35)This concept has had a lasting influence in Western culture upon man in his relations with other men in all walks of life.
"... whosoever smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:39)
"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’ (Matthew 7:12).
What Jesus and other religious leaders did was not identified as a scientific experiment in human relations because there was no real need at the time for the scientific study of human situations. George F. F. Lombard observes:
Until recently the pace of social change allowed individuals and groups to acquire the capacity to understand one another by living together without explicit attention to the process involved. (1, p.225)In modern living, however, there can he found innumerable symptoms of misunderstanding and conflict at all levels of society. The striking workers of industry, the increase in all types of crime, the turnover in employment, and the increasing divorce rate, are some of the symptoms in recent decades.
Near the turn of the century, Dr. Sigmund Freud of Vienna, Austria, made some interesting observations which indicated to the world that human problems could be studied scientifically. (10, p. 6) Freud developed a "dynamic psychology" wherein he studied the transformation and exchanges of energy within the personality. (10, p. 6) The studies made by Freud in the area of personality have contributed directly tot he scientific study of human relations, and greatly stimulated the development of more meaningful research in this field. The modern development of psychology and psychiatry has introduced new concepts and understandings of the relations between humans.
The industrialization of civilization has indicated the need for research in human relations to better understand the personal interactions of men as they affect production. Lombard explains the position of industry as follows:Industry has made an effort meet these needs as suggested by Lombard through a number of studies. One study conducted on the problem of human relations was done by the Western Electric Company to determine the factors of high productivity among workers. The elements of social organization were evident in every investigation. Interrelations of people were rarely planned or formally organized. "They consisted of basic human relations out of which emerge loosely-knit social structure dominating the behavior of individual workers." (30, p. 21) One of the most interesting of the conclusions of this study was that external factors, such as physical working conditions, had little effect on production. Changes in social and psychological organizations played an important part. It was found that it was not the music that played over loud speakers in factory rooms, or the lounges that were provided for rest periods, that affected production, but rather how well one worker got along with another, or with his boss, or with his wife.
The present state of our industrial civilization requires research in human relations which will yield results of immediate practical value to the responsible administrator. This research must also produce the data necessary to develop in the long run an understanding of the basic forces at work in our society. A program of clinical research resulting in case reports recognizes and meets both these needs. (1, p. 225)
The volume of literature dealing with human relations has been increasing in the past two decades and indicates an interest in the subject which covers a variety of endeavors. [Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, 1946-54; Dissertation Abstracts, formerly Microfilm Abstracts, by University Microfilm, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1954; Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities, 1940-54; published by W.H. Wilson Company of New York; and Research Studies in Education, a Subject Index, 1941-51.] However, among all the researches done on human relations, there are comparatively few dealing with human relations in schools among school personnel. To the writer, it seemed that there should be more consideration given to human interactions in secondary school administration based upon the democratic principle "that the individual is of supreme worth and the only concrete reality with which we can deal." (30, p. 195)
Within the scope of education there has been increased attention given to human relations in such areas as the teacher-pupil and the superintendent-staff relationships. In one of the most recent studies, the emphasis is placed upon the school superintendent as the central person in the human interaction of school administration. (24) Relatively little attention seems to have been given to the high school principal as a vital participant in the human interactions on the high school level.
The findings of the latest White House Conference on Education (November 1955) have indicated a definite need for, and trend toward consolidation of smaller school districts. This information seems to indicate that there will be more secondary school principals and fewer superintendents of schools, and thus of schools, and thus emphasizes the necessity of greater human relations training at the secondary level. This trend points up the increasing importance of the individual secondary school administrator, and, in so doing, calls attention to the need for human relations training of the secondary school administrator.
The Problem. The specific problem of the study is the collection, writing, and selection of episodes which can be used to help to improve human relationships in secondary school administration.
The ultimate objective of this study is to contribute to answering a larger question which may be stated as follows: How can communication and understanding between individuals, and between individuals and groups, be improved under differing conditions and with varying relationships in secondary school administration? It is recognized that this study alone will not achieve this objective, however, together with other studies, it will make a contribution t this end.
Purposes of the Study. The first purpose of this study is to develop episodes as a teaching-aid for university courses in educational administration, or for in-service educational programs. Any one of the episodes found in Chapter III of this study might be used as the central problem for a discussion on human relations. The episodes may be used to deepen insights concerning what might be done in a specific situation to attain a definite goal in a manner consistent with good human relations. Furthermore, the episodes provide an opportunity to study typical problems confronted by secondary school administrators for the purpose of developing student capacity to deal with the problems of human relations in a complex and changing environment. (1, p. 25) George Terry, in his case studies in business and industrial management expresses this purpose as follows:
To provide laboratory material in which practice can be acquired in such important things as: (1) recognizing problems to be solved; (2) ferreting out pertinent facts; (3) analyzing these facts to reach a decision; and (4) applying them to the specific circumstances. (27, p. v)The writer of the present study believes that the episodes which comprise the third chapter of this study will provide laboratory material for students of secondary school administration in their practice with human relationships in a school situation.
The second purpose is to help the student using the episodes to learn to develop empathy with the administrator, and to improve sensitivity and understanding for the administrator's position. The episodes in administration provide an opportunity for a student to place himself in a number of different situations in the field of secondary administration, and to identify himself with the administrator who is encountering problems in these areas.
The third purpose of this study is to locate possible research problems in the field of educational administration.
The Research Method. The case study method of research was developed as early as 1871 by Langdell for use primarily at the Harvard Law School. (5, p. 22) (For an example of early social case work see W.W. Pettit Case Studies in Community Organization.) (17) John Brewer did some early work in the application of the case method to educational administration with his cases on the administration of guidance for vocational education obtained from student seminars. (4, p.1) However, it was not until Wallace A. Donham (then Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration) began his experiments in the situation-oriented case studies that any appreciable spread in this method of research was noted. The "Donham Method", as Creegan calls it, was unique in that he used the situation-oriented case with concern for interpersonal relationship factors. (34, p. 214) Creegan goes on to say that Donham was the first to bring to business administration training the use of cases which "... were studied in terms of concrete interpersonal adjustments rather than in terms of legal prerogatives." (34, p. 214) Donham intended that cases "would function as the hub of discussion of human relations as found in the business world and provide occasion for the members of the group to acquire new attitudes and expand limits of their understanding." (34, p. 25)
More recently, the Harvard experiments under the leadership of George F.F. Lombard have focused upon the training of individuals for the achievement of cooperation in organization including individual satisfactions and organization purposes. (1, p. viii) To achieve this objective, students study real life problems which center about actual events. Students endeavor to disentangle the human relations which are involved in the case situation. Furthermore, students strive to become aware of the various points of view of the major participants. Finally, students attempt to decide what is required in a particular situation as responsible action from the administrator most concerned. This method provides the students with an opportunity to think for themselves without benefit of verbal solution and abstract principle. (1, p. viii)
Richard H. Byrne says in his study that at least one reason for the acceptance of the situational case study has been the "tremendous concern about the nature and the improving of techniques of interpersonal relationships..." (5, p. 26) This same concern for improving techniques in human relations was partially responsible for the case method refinements effected by Carl Rogers through his client-centered theory of counseling. (34, p. 215)
Teachers such as Mayo, Roethlisberger, and Lombard have observed that "notable success was attained in case method education for administrative functions." (34, p. 214) The development of case method courses in universities throughout the nation also gives evidence of the acceptance and effectiveness of the method. (34, p. 216)
In achieving the purposes of this study, the writer felt that the "descriptive method" using the case study technique would be most effective. (28, pp. 153-191)
This study is designed to develop teaching aids in educational administration ad is therefore concerned wit the present time. The episodes taken from current experience are intended to represent administrative situations as they are occurring. Lombard believes that scientific knowledge begins with careful observation, and in the process of "organizing research in human relations on this basis requires a method of study permitting detailed examination of situations as they unfold." (1, p. 226)
For this study, interview and observation have been used to gather the necessary data from real administrative situations. The interviews have permitted detailed study of individual and group attitudes through the recording of free and spontaneous expressions. Observation has permitted the direct study of the activities and behavior of individuals and groups.
Data from interviews and observations of administrative situations have been brought together in the form of an episode report. As interpreted in this study, the "episode report" is a carefully written description based on an actual situation in secondary school administration which provokes in the reader the need to decide what is going on, what the situation really is, what the problems are, and what can and should be done.
The episode report as used in this study differs from the case study report in that the former is a record of a particular incident or event which can, for purposes of this study, stand by itself, but is more or less connected with a series of events. The case report is typically a record of a problem together with surrounding facts, opinions, and prejudices, including a series of events or incidents covering a long period of time.
The case study technique lends itself to the kind of student participation which makes it possible to achieve the purposes of this study. Dean Donham emphasizes the practicality of this research method when he says:
The essential fact that makes the case system... an educational method of the greatest power is that it arouses the interest of the student by making him an active, rather than a passive participant... (1, p. 3)There are two objectives which the case study technique serves to meet in this study. The first objective is negative, "... to avoid boredom and futility and waste of training programs that ignore attitudes and experience of those being trained." The second objective is positive, "to enable participants to learn (from reflection on their own experience) how to approach more effectively than before the human problems of administration." (31, p. 58) The case technique holds an intrinsic interest and potential effectiveness which can be realized more effectively when it is understood that there is no panacea for human problems. No absolute pattern of behavior can be set forth which will satisfactorily control administrative conduct to meet the needs of all individuals involved in a similar way. However, it is recognized in this study that there is a transfer of awareness into effective behavior which must take place afterwards, on the job, and not in training.
Collecting the data. In the collection of data for the episode reports in this study, a systematic procedure was followed wherein the author observed the everyday behavior of people on the job, being alert to how different participants viewed their job situations. A number of episodes were collected during the time the writer was engaged in an administrative internship program. In this capacity, it was possible to observe human interrelationships in the faculty situation virtually through the eyes of the administrator, yet to maintain a degree of objectivity which might have been too difficult to maintain had the writer himself been the administrator. As an intern, the writer was able to work rather unobtrusively in gathering many of the episodes. On the other hand, some of the data were gathered while the writer was actually involved in administrative responsibility as an assistant principal of a large senior high school.
Writing the episodes. Data for the episodes were collected over a three-year period and then written up in rough form for evaluation. In writing up each episode several rules were followed, namely: (1) one or more events were noted as the episode is concerned in the present; (2) the background of the problem, including the people involved, was noted in detail; (3) all available first-hand data about key present events, including what people said and thought, were noted in each episode.
Most of the data were obtained on the basis of first-hand observation. However, where strict confidence was necessary, information was obtained through personal discussion with the responsible administrator. The episodes in this study actually took place as they are reported. They have been disguised only to the extent of using fictitious names of persons and places.
When converting raw data into the completed episode, the writer has attempted to maintain a high degree of objectivity; e.g., rather than say that an individual in an episode is "competent", the writer has attempted to include the direct evidence, such as a direct quotation of someone saying that the individual is competent. The reader can then interpret the facts himself. In an effort tot report in a realistic manner, the writer has made considerable effort to include verbatim conversations, quoting exactly the words by the parties involved in any episode.
The episodes were written in the following form:
(1) Title - Devised for the purpose of facilitating classification and for the convenience of the reader.The actual decision made in each episode and the actual results as the observer noted them will be found in the Appendix.
(2) Relevant Background - Included so that the reader might be properly oriented regarding past activities as they affect events in the present.
(3) Possible Decisions - All consultations preceding the actual decision have been included so that that reader might be aware of the possibilities in each case.
Selecting the Episodes. In all, over fifty episodes were written up for possible inclusion in this study. The surviving twenty episode reports found in the third chapter of this study were selected on the following bases: (1) the interest of the observer in the case, (2) the normalcy of the administrative situation (an attempt has been made to avoid the unusual situation as a basis for episode material, (6, p. v), and (3) the representative areas of human relations experience in secondary school administration are included (principal-superintendent, principal-teacher, principal-employee, principal-pupil, principal-parent, principal-community relations).
Each episode was written in final form and returned to the responsible administrator for perusal. The administrator involved was asked to review each episode with reference to the following questions:
(1) Is the title appropriate?Since the episodes had taken place with the administrator and/or the writer present and the above questions were answered satisfactorily after revisions, it was decided to present representative episodes to a group of graduate students in educational administration at the University of Maryland who were unfamiliar with the preparation of the episodes.
(2) Is the problem readily discernible within the episode?
(3) Does the episode adequately disguise the parties involved?
(4) Does the episode read well?
The representative episodes were presented to the group with the four questions above. Members of the group offered suggestions and criticisms after perusal of the episodes and generally contributed toward selecting the most appropriate episodes for inclusion in this study by asking the questions and freely discussing the merits of each episode in the light of stated objectives.
Using the Episodes. The episodes included in this study represent real-life situations. The writer believes that these situations, coupled with academic theory, plus discussion and investigation, can result in valuable understanding. To facilitate this understanding, the reader should view each episode as a participant. In so doing, he will be able to develop perception and improve his powers of discrimination. In using the episodes in a university course on secondary school administration, the old formalized method of handing back to the professor the things he wants to hear would be eliminated, and discussion would follow the lines of personal interest of the participants. When the episodes are used in this manner, they should be used to stimulate discussion of administrative problems involving people, and not on the basis of the mechanical administrative problem alone. Caution should be taken to note that the episodes, per se, do not illustrate primary principles, rules, or points.
By using the episodes in this study, a student of administration can study individual problems drawn from actual events, and in the process disentangle relations evident in the description of the episode situation. He thus becomes aware of the different points of view of major participants and comes to decide what the situation requires by way of responsible action from the executive.
The use of the case method with students in unique. For example: (1) the students are not given general theories or hypotheses to criticize, but rather raw facts from which they can draw conclusions; and (2) the individual student gains confidence under the case method that he can make and is expected to make contributions to group understanding. A unique opportunity is provided to think out original answers to new problems or to give new interpretations to old problems (which have previously been denied to students. It is a known fact that we cannot benefit to the fullest extent from another person's knowledge or insight, but rather this knowledge and insight must be that which we have used.
A student of Business with FactAs a teaching mechanism, the case method consists of more than assignment of cases and the development of techniques for conducting discussion. John D. Glover and Ralph M. However believe, as does the writer that "a large part of its [the case method] success or failure depends upon the relation which obtains between the instructor and the students." (1, p. 14) If students are to take on the responsibility for the analytical study and discussion of the episodes, they need an atmosphere which lends itself to permissiveness. Students should be able to feel free to expound their ideas and ask their questions without fear of authoritarian rejection by the instructor. There must be rapport between the instructor and the class for this method to be successful.
Absorbed many answers he lacked
But, acquiring a job,
He said with a sob,
"How does one fit answer to fact?" (1, p. 8)
It is suggested that there be a step-by-step analysis of episode facts as a prelude to interpretation. All of the details of the episode should be well in the minds of students and instructor alike. The group can be checked on for accuracy and completeness of fact and the relevance of a student's references to theory and practice. There is a moderate amount of drill in the painstaking analysis of cases to give adequate appraisal of specific situations including the orderly cataloging of alternative interpretations and choices of action.
Glover and However believe that the instructor can be most effective in the success of the case method:
If the instructor can continually focus upon the significance of case details -- their relations to one another and their implications for administrative action -- and if he can induce students to raise questions of their own along such lines, he will probably find out not only acceptance of the step-by-step analysis as a a necessary phase but also real and growing interest in the process on the part of the students. (1, p. 16)A further approach for using the episodes might be: (1) Compare the cases for activities described, relations between people, and sentiments and beliefs revealed by remarks or behavior in connection with activities and relations; and (2) differentiate between objective fact and personal evaluation. Through this method, the student and instructor can increase their ability to discern that apparently simple situations are usually complex. Various ways of looking at the facts present themselves; each may be valid for its purpose and each individual evaluates the facts differently through vicarious experience. It might be helpful in using the episodes to summarize what the student has said as a means of verifying: (aa) whether or not the group understood, or (b) whether or not the student said what he meant. Here the instructor may pull together the views expressed, recognizing that the objective is to help the student to develop ways of thinking and to help him to grow in maturity and depth in point of view.
The Appendix, previously alluded to, contains the actual decision and the immediate results in each episode. These two parts are separated from the body of the episode in order that the student in reading a case will not become restricted in his analysis because of the presence of a solution, but rather will be free to determine his own decision in a particular situation. At the same time, the writer feels that if an instructor using this teaching aid so desires, he should be able to know what decisions were actually made and what the immediate results were in any given episode. The instructor may wish to experiment with analyses of these decisions and results.
Limitations of the Case Method. As interesting and appropriate as the case method is for this study in human relations, there are some limitations to its use. Those who have participated in group discussions on specific incidents or events where there has been a minimum of planning or constructive thinking, will be quick to condemn the case method of study for being nothing more than a "bull session", as it is colloquially called. The tendency to resort to disorganized utterings is a very real limitation to the method used in this study. The situation can be remedied, however, if the instructor has the details of each case well in mind, continually asks questions relating to the case data, and checks with other class members on the student's references to theory and practice.
The case method can be boring and confusing to students if the data are misused or handled improperly. Charles I. Gregg feels that using the cases can be particularly confusing to those students who are unaccustomed to independent thinking:
Not all students can bear the strain of thinking actively, of making independent judgments which may be challenged vigorously by their contemporaries. (1, p. 9)All the strain of the case method does not rest on the students. Teachers for their part particularly unused to the system, sometimes find it straining to leave the safe haven of dogmatism and meet their students on a democratic plane.
The initial use of the method may cause some confusion and frustration until some skill is developed in discerning that apparently simple human situations are usually complex. Progress in this development is usually limited since each student evaluates each situation in terms of his own experience.
Students may feel some degree of insecurity in the fact that this method does not provide a secure base for reference whenever a difference of opinion emerges.
Some of the differences of opinion may come about as results of certain unstated assumptions embodied in the discussion. These assumptions should have come to light in a well planned discussion designed to clarify those in the episode and those in the individual's mind.
The episodes may be misused to illustrate
"principles", "rules", or "points". Students should be properly
alerted that such illustrations are not part of the case study
method of teaching. If students are not thus warned, some
students will use certain facts as illustrations of theory or
concepts instead of trying to perceive the human interrelations
in a given situation.
A few students failing in their efforts to find principles, rules, or points in the episodes may resort to extremes. In such situations, the student may argue that there are two extreme points of view, of which he is aware, and then try to choose one as the proper solution for a particular case.
David N. Ulrich in using the case method as observed the criticism that because the method deals with one case situation at a time there is a limit to the opportunities for recognizing the general social problems implicit in the whole series. (1, p. 26) Much of the interpretation and judgment depend upon the underlying social values held by the individuals studying the cases.
When the case method is used, classroom activity is student-centered. This means that members of the class must assume the responsibility for working through the case problems. However, many of the traditional aspects of the classroom, e.g., the class roster, the grade book, the speaker's stand, etc., may tend to make some students defensive, confused, reticent, or even overaggressive. If, as Ulrich says, that students "cannot superimpose new attitudes upon existing ones", then there must be a period of development provided in the class wherein the obstacles to learning can be removed and replaced by new understandings which are inherent in the case method. (1, p. 27)
After the proper attitudes of students have been developed and despite the fact that the case method lends itself readily to realism, it must be admitted that the case method lends itself readily to realism, it must be admitted that the case can never truly reproduce actual events.
Glover and Hower summarize the limitations of the case method in their statement which describes the conceptual changes necessary on the part of the users:
Before students have devoted many class periods to the analysis of cases, they become eager to find solutions -- to get action. Characteristically, they wish to plan specific "solutions" for each case. The recognition dawns only gradually that administrative action occurs in a never-ending continuum of events and that few problems involving human behavior end in pat solutions. (1, p. 30)Organization of the Report. In summary, Chapter I describes the problem and method of this study with suggestions for its use. A definite need for further study of human relations in secondary school administration has been identified following pioneer efforts in medicine, industry, law, and the social sciences.
Chapter II, following, provides a brief explanation of the many and varied related theories necessary for understanding the basic assumptions inherent in this report.
Chapter III is composed of the twenty selected episodes concerned with administrative problems in secondary schools. Their order is insignificant; however, each episode has been numbered for easy identification.
Chapter IV is concerned with suggested areas for future research as they became apparent to the writer while completing this study.
Following Chapter IV there is an Appendix containing the decision and results (previously alluded to) as they actually occurred for each episode. This section should be used with discretion by the instructor since the data contained therein may reduce the effectiveness of the episodes if used prematurely.
The Selected Bibliography, which concludes this report, not only identifies the references used in this study, but may provide interesting reading of those student who desire to inquire further in to the specific aspects of the study.
The Doctoral Project. This study has been made in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Education Degree at the University of Maryland, College, Park, Maryland. The "Statement of Policy -- Doctoral Degrees in Education" issued by the College of Education states on page 8 that:
A project is required of all candidates for the degree of Doctor of Education. Special emphasis is placed upon ability to interpret and utilize in a practical situation the findings and established techniques of educational research.The established techniques of educational research, as explained in this introduction, have been utilized and interpreted in the practical situation of secondary school administration. The emphasis upon utility is peculiar to the requirements for the Doctor of Education Degree, as opposed to the emphasis upon "original research" for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree. Therefore, the procedures used in this project have been determined on the basis of utility, as implied in the foregoing pages.
Purpose of this Chapter. As has been indicated earlier in the study, the area of human relationships is a relatively recent area in which research in educational administration has been developed. (12, p. 131) Previously, school administration had assumed the structure of the "essentially autocratic" business world which excluded the necessity of considering the human factor. (30, p. 11) Careful studies on human relationships were considered to be unnecessary.
Concepts of educational administration and the concomitant leadership have changed. The philosophy of democratic living which our schools were established to perpetuate has only in recent years had a substantial effect upon the area of educational leadership. The effect upon leadership in education has been to take the emphasis away from domination by the leader over a subordinate to developing an attitude of guidance or helpfulness. Contemporary educational leadership is now being increasingly influenced by the democratic principles that: (1) every individual is important, (2) all points of view should be expressed, (3) minorities are respected and cherished, (4) common problems of living together can be solved cooperatively, and (5) all men should be free to choose. (30, pp. 5-7) One group of professors, for example, has characterized leadership as being a "relation between persons." (46, p. 5) These changing concepts of leadership underline the need for studies in human relations and emphasize the importance of research efforts such as the present study.
For this reason, some of the newer concepts of leadership and human relations are explored in this chapter as they relate to the leadership role of the secondary school administrator. The chapter does not seek to provide an exhaustive analysis of the administrator's leadership role. Such an analysis would go beyond the scope of the present study. This chapter does sketch briefly the concepts which emphasize the importance of the present study.
The Nature of Democratic Leadership. Kenneth Benne & Bozidar Muntyn express the view that:
...democratic leadership seeks progressively to transfer leadership from a basis of group dependence on the leadership of a person or small group to the common intelligence of the whole group. (3, p. 304)The trend today is in the direction of "improving and extending democratic practices" into all fields of human activity. (30, p. 3) This means, then, that the leadership in secondary school administration is inclined toward the democratic ideal as expressed in the principles alluded to earlier. A high school principal cannot administer and supervise a school simply by virtue of his ability to control subordinates if he expects the school to promote democracy in the community. The democratic leadership about which Benne and Muntyn speak extends into all the phases of school leadership as expressed in this study. It is, however, an assumption of this study that the school principal is in a position of unique opportunity for providing teachers, and other members of the school staff, with immediate experiences that will enable them to increase their ability to guide the lives of young people toward more effective democratic living. (30, pp. 10-11)
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in Group Processes in Supervision says that:
Leadership in group processes is not a function of position; it evolves from the group, thus giving the responsibility for the selection of leadership to the group members. (47, p. 33)This principle is important for the secondary school principal to understand since the leadership that he exerts so frequently relates to groups of people: the faculty the student body, the parents, the service clubs, etc. In the process of developing leadership within the group, an individual or small group usually assumes the leadership function as a result of the ability to influence or stimulate others. (46, p. 8) This emergence of leadership is not as haphazard as it may seem. Democratic leadership does have a structure and a technique which are "manifest in the democratic process of reaching more valid decisions through cooperative efforts than those arrived at by individuals." (46, p. 8)
The same group of professors who arrived at these conclusions went on to enumerate a number of tangible characteristics of democratic leadership which should influence the thinking of the secondary school administrator in appreciating his function as an educational leader. This study asserts that democratic leadership: (10 increases the powers of individuals to adjust to solve problems, to gain satisfactory expression, maintain emotional poise and grow in attitudes and mature behavior; (2) makes immediate results essential, but the ultimate welfare of the people is the principal criterion; (3) grows out of action of a group working on a problem and does not belong to any one individual; (4) comes from within the group and must identify itself with the group interests and purposes; (5) uses potentialities of each member of the group for the common good; (6) assists groups in their determination of wants and needs; (6) employs group deliberation, balancing points-of-view to achieve common agreement; and (8) assists the group in carrying out its objectives. (46, pp. 9-10)
Harold Spears in his chapter on "The Human Touch" draws upon five "Principles of Democratic Administration" which further emphasize the current thinking relative to educational leadership in a democratic society:
1. Administration and supervision are agencies serving the teaching-learning situation.The theory of democratic leadership encompasses the fundamental purpose of education, namely, the improvement within individuals of the power to act together in the achievement of certain objectives and of getting things done efficiently.
2. Administrators and staff members are resource persons contributing to the improvement of that situation.
3. Theirs is the responsibility for providing opportunities for teachers to determine purposes and plan procedures.
4. Theirs is the responsibility for coordinating the activities of these groups and for executing their planning.
5. Thus group leadership takes precedence over position, and cooperation over central directive. (25, p. 100)
Leadership skills. Leadership thus becomes important to the democratic process. It further becomes the responsibility of the principal to provide leadership in the determination of goals and then to stimulate the individual or group to work toward these goals. (3, p. 129)
In fulfilling his responsibilities, the principal needs to acquire certain skills in his conduct towards others. (30, p. 43 and 46, p. 35) In developing the skill of dealing with people, there are a variety of techniques which many administrators take for granted. (12, p. 131)
Lindgren regards "Skill in communication [as] basic to the interpretive function of leadership." (12, p. 150) He goes on to say that "The essence of leadership is contained in what the leader communicates and how he communicates it." (12, p. 153) Communication is, then, more than simply telling others what we think, but in keeping with the democratic principles expressed in this study, communication involves understanding what others mean, think of feel. (3, p. 85) There is no substitute for face-to-face contact as the best means of communication. (30, p. 199) Such contact makes possible a two-way communication at the time of thought, and eliminates much distortion of original communication. (18, p. 149)
Successful two-way communication does not rest solely on making certain that we are communicating, because we are always communicating something when we are with others. The skill lies in helping others to understand us better and in understanding them better at the same time. This latter condition necessitates that the leader sincerely desire to understand what others have to say and realize that to each employee his problem is most important. (30, p. 196) From the individual's point-of-view, the problem may be a matter of life or death and the leader needs to treat the individual as a human, not just as paper being moved from one basket to another as he is being processed. There must be a realization on the part of the administrator of the individual worth of each human being. (30, p. 5)
In order to achieve the understanding inherent in successful two-way communication, the administrator should develop the skill of listening. (29, p. 33; 2, p. 122; and 12, p. 154). The school administrator in the course of a successful day will probably do more listening than anyone else on the staff. (30, p. 198) Because of the extreme importance of the listening skill, the administrator should make himself aware of the following factors: (1) be willing to listen to an individual's complete story without interruption; (2) omit any expressions of approval or disapproval as the individual reports his situation; (3) try to find out what the underlying causes are for what is being said; (4) in the best counseling technique, mentally note omissions in the report, either because the individual does not wish to include them or because he is unable to do so; and (5), above all, avoid argument. (2, pp. 153-160)
In striving to become an effective democratic leader, the principal will info it necessary to develop mutual confidence with the staff. (7, p. 12 and 25, p. 271) Although the principal is the status leader of the staff and is granted certain power, he may observe in time that true democratic leadership will emerge from within the group. (As used in this study, the status leader is one who is given a position of leadership and authority.) On the other hand, the principal may from time to time evolve as the group leader as well as the status leader. The spirit of mutual confidence may contribute to this change, as the principal becomes the first to manifest regard, understanding, and cooperation in all contacts between staff members of the school (7, p. 12)
Before mutual confidence can develop, the administrator must believe in himself. (7, p. 13) This means that the administrator must have reasonable confidence in his own ability to make proper decisions. He should feel that, if an improper decision is made, he can correct it without losing status. Leadership cannot exist without self-confidence, yet this self-confidence may possibly go tot he limits of seeming infallibility. Such infallibility is not a part of democratic leadership. The self-confidence democratic executive can clarify ideas and instill definiteness in the school atmosphere which, in turn, engenders mutual confidence. (29, p. 87) He can do this without being the overbearing, infallible, autocrat who has frequently characterized the secondary school principal in the layman's concept. (19, p. 20)
While developing leadership skills, the principal may consider the thought that teachers, as do many other people, like to be thought well of. (7, p. 19) THe fulfillment of this desire to be well thought of by those with whom we associate, can be a very constructive force. Words of approval can very often temper wrath and modify the indignation of many. To accomplish this objective, the principal may do well to use the compliment and words of praise as often as the situation permits and make his criticisms tactfully. (3, p. 188)
Another sill which the status leader may choose to explore is that of developing the feeling among the staff that everyone is getting a fair deal. (29, p. 47) This feeling can do much toward building trust among the faculty. In the process of developing this trust, the administrator needs a deep perspective and understanding because justice to the individual is only what he thinks is justice. The human relations that take place in this determination are sometimes quite complex. Compromise may be possible in the administration of justice, but, above all, the principal, in an attempt to satisfy all parties concerned, will be guided by the desire to be fair and to do the right thing. The mature school executive administers justice tempered with mercy. (7, p. 20) Some may call this sympathy, but whatever term is used to describe the situation, it will certainly be recognized that the sympathetic approach is a restorer and preserver of confidence.
Other skills of the secondary school leader in dealing with other human beings' needs include maintaining a real desire to know and help others. He may be able to grant a favor graciously, not grudgingly, and get unpleasant things done without the air of unpleasantness. The principal should develop the skill:
... to establish a common area of understanding with anyone and everyone he meets. He makes them feel that their problems are his, that he is with them in any discussion; even his arguments with them seem to be kind or in this atmosphere of cordiality and friendliness. (11, p. 157)In this modern age, this age of group dynamics, this age of familiarity, the use of the first name has become commonplace. (29, p. 110). The administrator, however, will be quick to recognize the necessity of using the first name outside of school, or in a personal situation, and using the full name, or formal name, in the school situation where more formal action is necessary, e.g., in the presence of students. The failure to achieve this balance can cost the respect and affection of the staff.
Robert N. McMurry, in the Phi Delta Kappan, makes some interesting observations on the qualities the administrator should posses which the writer feels are applicable here, since they emphasize the importance of human relations. He says, "The person heading up an organization must possess initiative and willingness to take risks, with the judgment and administrative skills of a good manager." (43, p. 19) A good administrator may possess certain qualities which bear emphasis at this time: (1) have enough energy to insure aggressiveness and creative imagination; (2) be basically secure so as to provide a genuine self-reliance, as opposed to over aggressive boastfulness of insecure individuals; and (3) have intuitive judgment of a high quality to size up people, points-of-view and situations accurately and without delay. These are basic qualities which the secondary school administrator should possess. In addition, there are certain skills which he may attempt to acquire and improve with practice, for example:
(1) an ability to see problems in perspective and make decisions on the basis of long-term goals; (2) a capacity to delegate authority and appropriate responsibility; (3) a sincere willingness to receive suggestions and criticisms from peers and subordinates; (4) an ability and willingness to think independently and take a firm stand, risking at times the loss of approval by associates; (5) a capacity for discerning previously undetected relationships among the things and conditions of his environment; (6) a competence in stimulating, coordinating and appraising a number of highly varied interests and activities simultaneously. (43, p. 19)It is important for human relations that the integrity of the ego be maintained through the technique manifested in the Japanese custom of "saving face". (29, p. 86) Few people like to back down, admit error, or change position. It is the principal's responsibility to avoid situations which permit individuals to get involved in commitments which involve individuals emotionally and then are difficult to change.
It is important for the administrator to maintain the equilibrium of the school. He can strive to avoid the disruption of routine, and be aware that traditions and custom help maintain balance, whereas sudden removal or intensification disturb equilibrium. (30, p. 17)
The administrator may question himself, "Just how important is the human equation?", and upon examination, he must admit that the biggest single object with which we deal (we cannot manufacture) is people. (30, p. 195)
Know the Teachers. In addition to acquiring knowledge about specific skills, the high school principal will find it helpful to achieve a depth of understanding that will permit him to know the teachers and motivate them into working together for common purposes. Lindgren states that the leader's "... greatest strength is his sensitivity to the feelings and needs of the people with whom he works". (12 p. 131) The school executive, in order to motivate, must know the teachers on his staff. How well must he know the teachers? He should first begin by appreciating the human characteristics of teachers. Teachers are not a social sect apart from the rest of society. They have the same general desires as all other people. (18, p. 299 and 7, p. 15) There are some characteristics that are probably more outstanding among teachers than other individuals, namely, the creative impulse, initiative, energy. Because of these different factors, there must be some allowance made for originality. Many teachers can subsequently be kept happy if they have the opportunity to be creative and original in their work. (7, p. 15)
If we accept the premise that teachers are the same as other people in many respects, then we must recognize the human "desire to wield authority". (7, p. 18) The teacher is no exception, and amy attempt to assert that authority in the classroom. In his realm, the administration and management of the classroom are the teacher's responsibilities. This is as it should be, for, in meeting responsibilities, the teacher is free to act as he sees fit within the bounds of school law. Cooke agrees that this is good procedure when he says, "Teachers are happiest when they experience the opportunity to act which, in turn, generates a will to accomplish". (7, p. 18) However, the desire for authority can be channeled into more democratic approaches for influencing people. Through democratic administration, the school principal can set the tone for democratic leadership in the classroom.
Teachers desire fellowship with other teachers and with their principals. (7u, p. 18) Principals, too, need to know the teachers personally, and should, therefore, make provision for an environment conducive to informal association. A faculty lounge which will lend itself to an atmosphere of relaxation and informality may be helpful in this regard as might the informal social function for teachers during the school year which can do much toward strengthening relationships between principal and teacher.
The principal as the status leader of the staff should realize that teachers have ears and worries which must be dealt with on occasion (7, pp. 20-21) The foremost of these fears of teachers seem to be those of losing their position or not having their principal's support. (8, pp 261-262) It is the principal's responsibility to alleviate needless fears and worries, many of which can be lessened during the initial interview through candor and definiteness. (7, p. 20) There should be no "sweet talk" or overshadowing of possible unpleasant situations if the administrator genuinely desires to relieve tension and anxiety.
All people, teachers not excepted, need praise or approval, but mere praise or approval is not enough. (3, p. 125) Teachers need some tangible indication of their progress, such as increase in salary or an elevation in position. The executive may find it helpful to be aware of individual aspirations among his faculty to get ahead and he should constantly strive to reduce the feeling of being overlooked or being judged unfairly possibly through periodic personal interview wherein the individual staff members would have an opportunity t express themselves. In so doing, he must respect the confidence of his teachers and let it be known that the teachers may come to him without fear or embarrassment. (7, pp. 22-23)
Working Together. The single school faculty is an efficient and natural unit of democratic action. (30, p. 13) It is within this natural unit of democracy that mutual regard and respect are built up, but only to the degree that face-to-face relationships provide an opportunity where individuals can express themselves and their opinions count. Wilbur Yauch has observed that the school principal is probably in the best position to offer leadership to the faculty in its attempts at democratic experiences. (30, p. 14) He goes on to say that as a leader, the principal must recognize the complexity of the group and that it requires expert guidance to achieve goals:
Members of a group are constantly interacting among themselves, creating strains and tensions that call for intelligent guidance to keep them from busting into raging conflagrations. Individuals perpetually work at cross-purposes: one nullifying the good another does. (30, p. 15)The principal can, by being aware of the obstacles in democratic group action, offer guidance in defining unity of purpose and progress and help the individuals strive for this unity in the group. As the leader who helps each teacher to grow and develop to the maximum professionally, the principal can facilitate the interactions of the faculty group by lessening the strains and tensions that tend to force individuals to work at cross purposes. The conditions described by Yauch imply that the principal is responsible for the faculty group and must know the general characteristics of groups and how they function. He has the major task as status leader, as the group attempts to arrive at common agreements, and must understand the relation to faculty plans and what he can do for assistance. (3, pp. 131-132) Then he must act as mediator and referee for the many human relations problems that will arise.
In the group process of achieving common goals, the principal is responsible for helping to get things started. To be effective he starts where the group is. This means that he helps the group identify its needs as the members ee them. In the course of identifying group needs, the principal should be willing to discover and release further leadership within the group. (47, p. 60) Democratic leadership will thus be shared as it emerges from the group situation. the principal will see that things continue to move toward solving the mutually identified group problem, and finally he will note the progress made. The status leader in this way will be able to help teachers determine more successfully the kinds of things they cooperatively decide to do. Instead of telling, he makes suggestions, offers advice, proposes alternatives, or asks questions.
The question arises of just how far teachers should be expected to participate in decisions that affect school administration practices. (7, p. 319) In order to answer the question, let us first look at the objectives. Full participation is important, and in order to get this participation, the teachers must recognize that their ideas count. (9, pp. 185-186) An administrator can develop this feeling of usefulness within his faculty by giving due credit to faculty suggestions and actually utilizing these suggestions whenever feasible. (25, p. 126) IN the faculty meeting, the principal's manner will largely determine its success. (30, pp. 65-67) He may make an effort to secure a cross-section of the group's opinion on the matter at hand, then he may follow by making an effort for agreement. In effect, the content of faculty meetings should emerge from teacher-recognized needs. Where the needs are apparent and are being dealt with, participation will follow. (30, p. 76)
Types of Leadership. Three types of leadership which are generally understood in education are discussed by Wilbur Yauch. these include democratic, autocratic and laissez faire. (30, p. 40) A consideration of each of these types would be in order in this study except that at least one writer questions the value of considering laissez-faire leadership insofar as the high school principal is concerned. (38, pp. 308-310) Hines and Grobman concluded from their study that a person with a laissez-faire operational pattern is not likely to get appointed to a principal's position. Dennis Cooke describes this as administration by "abdication". No problems are solved by this administrator. He merely runs away from them. This is the opposite of leadership, since he follows his teachers, rather than leading them. Cooke goes on the identify two other types of administration. Second, there is the principal who is autocratic, repressive, domineering and egocentric and has no policy except that of doing nothing about personnel. He characteristically administers a school through fear and "bulldozing". This, at best, is a crude attempt to inflate the ego. Here an individual is attempting to give himself a sense of importance, disregarding or ruthlessly exploiting his position. Third, there is the "educational statesman". Teachers in this situation help to determine and accept administrative policies without any feeling of dictatorship. This executive does not deliberately lead the faculty into situations which result in friction, worry or misunderstanding. This is administration through the "human factor" where there is less emphasis given tot he mechanics of school administration. (7, pp. 1-23) Many educators will agree that the latter is the ideal type of executive.
The high school principal should personally possess an appreciation of, and a consideration for others. He may be a warm human being with definite purposes and objectives. Cooke says that this leader "... must be a great deal of a man. He must stand for something to which teachers incline and so take his place as a focus o their thought." (7, p. 11) As the focus for teacher thought, he should take on the qualities of an ideal as counselor, inspirer, encourager, and leader. He should have an objective personality and be idealistic in his approach to human problems. Being devoted to a cause can do a great deal toward establishing an unwavering trust between the principal and his teachers. Many teachers will accept the leadership of the executive by virtue of their respect for him and the cause for which he stands. (30, p. 44 and 7, p. 10) Because of these factors, the administrator may well seek to avoid the spectacular approach and rely upon his intrinsic qualities of leadership. (30, p. 48)
The High School Teacher. Earl Hanson, in an article published in Nation's Schools refers to the professional teaching staff as follows:
The most numerous part of the working salaried staff is composed entirely of highly trained, broadly educated, and highly sensitive professional people. (36, p. 35)These factors help to explain the individualistic nature of teachers, and individual personalities which the administrator must be prepared to understand and work with. (2, p. 58) The personalities of teachers are important to teaching and, if the administration is basically sound in human relations, personalities may be expected to change for the better. (3, p. 330
The administrator in the secondary school, in dealing with the staff, deals with a group of individuals which can be differentiated from other groups of teachers. (2, pp. 76-77) He may note, for example, that, when one goes into high school teaching he often has had a background of education directed toward a narrow academic interest. The old tendency to be unsympathetic toward "children who don't come up to standard" is all to prevalent among high school teachers. (2, p. 76) The secondary school administrator can earnestly prepare himself for the individual who will come to him and say, "If they can't learn my subject, they might as well be removed from school altogether!" Although there has been considerable effort to do away with the concept of the high school as the college preparatory institution, a great many individuals on high school staffs still practice this concept, while giving verbal subscription to the new concept that the high school is preparation for living.
Teacher Security. One of the important factors to be considered by an administrator is the psychological well-being of the teachers. (2, p. 65) Simply, we might say that he looks after the security, or insecurity, of the faculty.
Some of the things which affect this feeling are the textbook used for years, room arrangement, class assignment, and other traditions. Although at first glance these may seem trivial, the individual teacher may regard them very highly as evidence of stability and security. The wisdom of moving a long-term teacher from one room to another might well be questioned by the administrator. (2, pp. 123-124) Or, if through the years it has been customary for a teacher to claim a "vested interest" in a particularly well-worn easy chair in the lounge, then it might be good human relations policy to continue this tradition. (25, p. 155) Some writers believe that there can be such a thing as too much security. (7, p. 9) However, any such dangers are counter-balanced by the equally grave danger that a lack of security will result in undesirable anxiety and tension.
The administrator must himself be balanced and secure; he must radiate this balance and security. it follow, then, that good organization and administration promote security in the truest sense. John M. Gaus of Harvard says, "Organization is the arrangement of human beings to achieve common purposes effectively with satisfaction to those affected, both within and without the enterprise". (32, p. 175) This organization must provide flexible responses to the human drives and motives. The good administrator, in developing a feeling of security, ordinarily backs up and supports his "front line", including teachers, custodians, secretaries, cafeteria manager, and others. Not only must they be supported but they must be kept informed. It is important to all to know "what you are doing and why". Only in this knowledge can tasks become more meaningful since each individual needs to know how his bit contributes to the whole. (47, p. 9)
The element of security is one of the biggest contributions which the executive in the school can help the staff to develop. To establish this security, the staff must feel that the executive is adequate in the situation: therefore, the executive must have self-control This does not mean that he must know more than anyone else in the organization, but it does mean that he must be able to see each staff member's part in relation to the whole and develop a feeling of confidence on the part of each member in his ability to meet new situations. (3, p. 125) These staff members, after leaving the executive in consultation, should feel that the has put the problems in perspective for them. It is also important here, and the subsequent episodes will indicate this to be true, that the team must understand the scope of the executive's task. It is the school executive's responsibility to maintain contact with members of the staff and create an environment in which the staff can work. Edgar Smith, Vice-President of General Motors Export Corporation, says, "... the successful day-to-day operation of our business demands a great deal of common sense and good business judgment in the exercise of... contact". (32, p. 177) This thought is not limited to industry, but can very appropriately be adapted to the executive in the secondary school. It is important for one's self-respect to know what is expected of him and what his responsibilities are. Human relations bind the group and the leader together with regard to the work of the individual and recognition of his human needs.
Some Complexes Affecting Individuality. The administrator should be aware that every human being has many ideas which are based on strong emotions and about which he often speaks out vehemently. (26, p. 88) The individual's complexity often leads to emotional rather than logical thinking. The administrator may observe that when cool considerations of logic are abandoned, complexes are active. (26, p. 90) Here, then, the administrator takes a note of caution, for when ideas are associated together emotionally, he understands that the connection is purely personal and a relative one. (26, p. 90) if the object is the acceptance of ideas by everyone, then these ideas must be grouped together logically because of similarity and difference, cause and effect. Edward A. Strecker notes that there are three great complexes that chiefly dominate the thinking and determine action of a majority of adults, namely, "ego, sex, and herd". (26, p. 97) Quite frequently, people do things and wonder why, not realizing that one or more of the complexes may be determining action, the motive being hidden:
The happy person has complexes held to a minimum. The successful person has complexes adjusted to such a degree that, instead of wearing himself out in unsuccessful handling of personal problems, he may apply his physical and mental energy to the creative problems offered by the world. (26, p. 108)Strecker is of the opinion that many major conflicts in life and a frequent cause of nervousness affecting the individual personality is a lack balance among an individual's three fundamental complexes. He includes in his work the ten following typical ways in which individuals might possibly meet conflicts: (1) regression -- exaggerating emotion; (2) extroversion -- pursuing activities; (3) introversion -- daydreaming; (4) rationalization -- deceiving ourselves; (5) repression -- forgetting; (6) substitution -- transferring; (7) projection -- fault-finding; (8) identification -- idealizing; (9) compensation -- feeling inferior; (10) sublimation -- withdrawing from contacts. (26, p. 115 ff.)
These factors are influenced by the recognition of common needs and are conditioned by cultural factors. The personal characteristics are important in this regard, as they affect, for example, the teacher's relationships with pupils. Students have certain specific reasons for liking teachers, most important of which seems to be helpfulness. (25, p. 289) The teacher is an important part of the child's environment, not merely an educated machined, and for this reason the administrator must be sensitive to the needs of his teachers. "A child tends to incorporate a teacher's personality into his own." (2, p. 126)
Progress and Changing Behavior. There is an apparent need for improvement of human relations in secondary school administration, as stated in Chapter I, but in order to improve human relations it is necessary that progress be made. Progress implies that there is a change for the better, but, in order to change at all, behavior must change. (3, p. 18) The change in behavior necessary for progress in improvement of human relations in secondary school administration involves the basic task of re-education (3, Chapter 3)
Motivation. Before change in behavior can take place, there must be some motivation for making the change. Douglas McGregor, quoted in Human Relations in Curriculum Change, emphasizes "need satisfaction" as a basic motivating force for behavior change. "All human behavior is directed toward the satisfaction of needs." (3, p. 21) His discussion goes on to point out that throughout the span of human life the individual is constantly attempting to satisfy many varied and complex needs. McGregor also believes that any given behavior is the result of the individual's inner forces adjusting to the environmental situation. (3, p. 21) This result maybe good or bad, depending upon the degree of adjustment between the two forces. Paul Pigors agrees that there is a problem of motivation, but states that it is comparatively easy when under democratic leadership "leaders and followers join forces in the mutual service of a common cause". (19, p. 23)
Accepting the theories of motivation, a principal, as a manager and a leader of individuals, should seek to help satisfy individual needs. His whole program of human relations should include the planning of steps to increase supporting forces and to reduce resisting forces.
In considering behavior change through need satisfaction, ti should be understood that individuals change, either to gain increased satisfaction, or to avoid decreased satisfaction. (42, p. 21) There are many ways in which an administrator might bring about behavior change. A few such methods are: suggestion, threat, promise, physical force, reward, punishment, propaganda, and education. There are other ways of controlling behavior changes, such as: ;money and other material possessions, knowledge, skill or specialized abilities, prestige, approval, love, threat of disciplinary action, praise, a pay check, promotion, criticism, an order, and a request. Any of these methods maybe used in changing individual behavior, provided that the one who uses them has control over the means which the individual being changed considers important for satisfying his own needs. (42, pp. 21-24) As a method of controlling the "means", "authority" is necessary. When on exercises authority, one is attempting to bring about a change in behavior by a threat to limit the means of one's need satisfaction. (3, p. 22)
Modification of behavior will come about in relation to individual perception. (3, p. 26) Kurt Lewin and Paul Grabbe, in discussing re-education and behavior change, state that, "The basic task of re-education can... be viewed as one of changing the individual's social perception". (11, p. 61) First-hand experiences, or event he possession of correct knowledge do not preclude correct concepts. ONly by a change in social perception can a change in an individual's social action be realized.
In Emotion and Educative Process it is stated:
Our behavior is patterned in accordance with what experience has shown us to be the most satisfactory means of working them [needs] out, but as conditions around us vary and change, we are continuously under the necessity of modifying our behavior. (8, p. 111)How Values and Beliefs Change. Lewin and Grabbe point out that behavior change may only reach the level of verbal expression and not of conduct and result in giving the individual a bad conscience by increasing the discrepancy between the super-ego and the ego. This, in itself, can lead to high emotional tension, but seldom to correct conduct. (3, p. 28)
Knowledge and sentiment are two additional factors involved in changing behavior. However, knowledge, in itself, is not sufficient to bring about satisfactory change since the mere possession of correct knowledge does not necessarily correct false perception. (11 p. 61) On the other hand, sentiment, or emotional judgment, is usually independent of knowledge. An individual's sentiments toward a group are more likely to be determined by the sentiments prevalent in the social atmosphere about him than by his knowledge about the group. (11 p. 62)
Another factor in brining about change in sentiment is the degree to which the individual becomes actively involved in the problem. Without such involvement, no objective fact is likely to reach the status of a fact for the individual and consequently affect his behavior. (3, p. 28)
Loyalty to old and hostility to new values are obstacles usually confronting the school leader. (3, p. 29) Sometimes it is necessary to involve an individual in re-education against his will. If this occurs, he will usually meet the new set of values with hostility. There are also those who are firmly rooted in the old system and offer strong resistance to change. In breaking down this resistance, the principal should recognize that acceptance of new values and beliefs cannot usually be brought about item by item. (3, p. 31) Rather, one must adopt the whole idea encompassing these new values and beliefs.
To accomplish this change, there should be the "in-group", where individuals feel "belongingness". (30, p. 46) Many times individuals accept the new system of values and beliefs by accepting belongingness to a group. Lewin and Grabbe feel that the chances for re-education, or change, are greatly increased when a strong "we-feeling" is created. (3, p. 32) In a group situation, freedom of expression is necessary to the process of behavior change; even if individual prejudices are expressed an increased group identification will help to bring about acceptance of new values and beliefs. Lewin and Grabbe notes several factors which are conducive to effecting change within the group, namely:
...creating an atmosphere of freedom and spontaneity, voluntary attendance, informality of meetings, freedom of expression in voicing grievances, emotional security, avoidance of pressure. (11, p. 65)How effective and compatible a newcomer to the group will feel depends greatly upon the extent to which he is able to adapt to the culture of the environment in which he finds himself. It is much easier to change the beliefs of individuals formed into a group than to change anyone separately. (3, p. 43)
The Administrator as a Supervisor. The school executive assumes a variety of responsibilities in the process of guiding a staff toward the mutually accepted goal of educating youth. However, as in any other enterprise, there must be supervision of the workers (in this case the teachers) to insure efficiency of method and quality of product (18, p. 12 and 25, p. 64) Unfortunately, in education, the quality of product is more difficult to determine that in business and industry.
In education there have been many innovations in recent years to improve the quality and method of supervision, but some evils still persist. (25, pp. 27-30) Even when the evils of supervision are not apparent, there remain fears in the minds of those to be supervised. (30, p. 3 and 25, p. 73) There are still too many teacher who strive to give only the "right" answers rather than be involved in free discussion and many are still afraid to seek help because of the effect on their rating, written or otherwise.
Since one of the more important responsibilities of the principal is the supervision of the classroom teacher in the classroom situation the principal will need to be aware of the various possible roles he might assume in his capacity as the responsible administrator. Bartky classifies supervisors under several headings: (1) autocratic supervisor; (2) inspectional supervisor; (3) representative supervisor; (4) cooperative-democratic supervisor; (5) invitational supervisor; (6) scientific supervisor; and (7) creative supervisor. (2, pp. 14-17) In this study we might attempt to follow the "cooperative-democratic supervisor" as our template because it is this type of supervision that makes possible teacher perception in the solution of educational problems. Where the administrator accepts this method of supervision, he will find that personal initiative is encouraged which emphasizes cooperation and group activity. As a supervisor himself, he will incorporate the valuable understandings of human interactions which he possesses. (25, p. 97)
Teacher Biases. In the supervision of the teaching staff, it is important for the administrator to be aware of teacher biases which exist. Many of these biases are based upon socio-cultural background. (2, p. 63) The teacher who feels a certain social prestige in the community because of family background or long residence in the community will likely display a tone of authority or confidence which might not be apparent in the teacher with less social prestige. The teacher who is privately wealthy, or has an income over and above another teacher, will very possibly be more generous with students. Teachers who have raised themselves up from poverty through sheer perseverance on their part will be biased either in favor of, or against, underprivileged children. There is also evidence that some teachers, particularly those with limited experience, are biased in solving their discipline problems in much the same way their own teachers did. (2, p. 64) The administrator will probably find teachers newly graduated from teacher training institutions reverting back to such procedures as standing wrong-doers in the corner, and making others recount their infractions of accepted classroom behavior by writing a hundred times "I will not..." the administrator can be certain that teachers will judge child behavior according to their own mores. (2, p. 64) Where teacher biases affect pupil-welfare adversely, the principal, as stuff supervisor, will be expected to ameliorate the situation.
Staff Cooperation. When the times come that overt supervision is necessary, the cooperative-democratic approach maybe followed. The following are offered as mans by which cooperative supervision may be accomplished; (1) the principal initiating the program; (2) the individual teacher requesting supervision; or (3) the faculty determining the program. (30, pp. 118-119) When the supervisory conference is to take place, an effort should be made to hold it at a time convenient to the teacher, cooperatively determined with the supervisor. Once the conference begins, the supervisor can maintain a favorable attitude and guard against the tendency to pass judgment on the teacher's work. (30, p. 125) In supervising the staff, the function of the principal is that of analyzing and searching for factors which throw light on the various faculty problems, and assisting each teacher in developing a clear picture of his own situation. (29, p. 127)
When the teacher comes to the principal with a problem, the latter can begin effecting improvements in human relations (30, p. 195) He has a choice of action, including doing nothing about the situation, choosing to give the teacher the best possible advice and direction, or calling together all those who are affected by the decision and offering his leadership in the achievement of a cooperative decision. (30, pp. 196-198)
Delegating Authority. As administrator and principal, the faculty leader will probably find it necessary to delegate much school business (30, p. 131) In true democratic spirit, it is recognized that it would be undesirable for the administrator to be the only one attending to school business. Kimball Wiles, on the other hand, writes in terms of "shared responsibility" which obviates the necessity for delegated authority. (30, p. 139) In the same work, Wiles stated that "The total program of the school becomes the responsibility of the total staff." Although this theory may seem to some to be somewhat idealistic, the wise administrator will see to it that the faculty members are brought into the policy picture in a variety of ways, one of which might be through committee action. (7, p. 323) Committees can be formed for such things as scholarships, finances, discipline, buildings and grounds, social activities, and assembly programs. (30, pp. 135-137) In the delegation of this authority, the administrator should maintain a policy of constant guidance and supervision. He should seek to compensate for the lack of interest of non-committee members and also to resolve personality conflicts. (30, p. 138) This requires that the administrator recognize the varied problems of the committees. For example: (1) to develop coordination there must be clarification of policy and the danger of cross-purposes must be reduced; (2) committee members must be selected carefully (it is sometimes wise to provide opportunity for voluntary service on committees, and at other time it will be necessary to elect or assign committee members); and (3) committee work must be made meaningful for the others on the faculty. (30, pp. 142-146)
Being human relations conscious, the administrator can be of great assistance in delegating authority by helping to transmit experiences to others, assisting chairmen in presenting information in concrete form (words are a poor vehicle for the transmission of ideas, practical experiences are much better), and in coordinating the efforts of all groups and individuals. (30, p. 146 and 25 p. 108)
The Plant Manager. The school principal may, and should, delegate much of the school business to others on the staff. However, the administrator cannot delegate his responsibilities for ultimate supervision and management of the school plant. (29, p. 138) He is charged with the responsibility of maintaining an orderly organization, including the physical structure and the personnel necessary to make the plant function. These personnel usually include the custodians, the office workers, and the cafeteria workers. (30, Chapter VIII)
In order that the organization can function smoothly, the principal will need to establish clear lines of communication for these personnel so that their functions and responsibilities may be clearly defined. (18, Chapter IX) The principal has a responsibility to the custodial staff which involves aspects of human relations which are inherent in the principal's function as plant manager. (18, p. 148) It is evident that the supporting personnel need to be regarded with consideration and understanding, and made to feel that they are part of a the school plant and not only laboring people. (30, p. 153)
In addition to administering the instructional program, and managing the school plant, the principal has responsibilities in administering the school office functions, including clerical responsibilities, schedule making, ordering supplies, duplication of materials, and public relations. A key person to be considered in this relationship is the office secretary, whose value cannot be denied. (30, pp. 157-159) It is the principal's responsibility to interpret to the secretary and others of the office staff, as aids to teachers, their part in the total program of the school. The principal can help the secretary and other office employees to see their positions clearly through a definition of tasks or job analyses, and on a functional basis.
Relationships between Principal and Teachers. A school executive may be well versed in the techniques of administration, but if he functions without consideration of the human factor in teacher management, he may meet with disappointment or failure. (25, p. 97) Cooke gives the human factor top priority when he says, "The most important factor in the school system is the human nature of pupils and teachers". (7, p. 1) Being cognizant of this factor, then, an administrator's policies of personnel management should be sound, both professionally and psychologically. (18, p. 4) He must use tact, wisdom, and diplomacy, and be totally impartial. Further, he must respect the rights and personality of everyone in the organization. (18, pp. 277-278)
Important human factors stem from the basic relationships between one man and another, among which are: (1) the indifferent attitude of strangers (2) master-slave relationship; (3) rivalry or conflict where the master-slave relationship has not been settled; (4) father-son; (5) brother-brother; and (6) partnership. (7, p. 4) These basic relationships among men, as expressed by Cooke, will manifest themselves in the school situation, but it is up to the administrator to determine which relationship will be paramount and which relationships will be subordinated. AFter merely reading the list, one may gather indications of the basic relationship itself. An administrator may question his own policy and enumerate the good and bad qualities of each basic relationship as they fit into his own particular situation. The essence of the relationship between a principal and the men teachers will frequently include some mastery and submission, especially if the personality of the executive warrants the mastery aspect and there are factors other than submission to bring about the greatest achievement from men teachers. There should be elements of mutual respect apparent which make for cooperative achievement. Cooke says, "the conscious relationship should include elements of the master, senior partner and slight traces of the father." He goes on to explain that "The essence of supervisor and administrator is masculine, whether the particular executive happens to be a man or a woman". (7, p. 4)
Wilbur Yauch does not see the relationship as being so sharply defined:
The principal is in the most advantageous position to offer leadership to the faculty in its attempts to provide itself with democratic experiences. (29, p. 14)Kimball Wiles also takes a less specific view of the "official leader's position:
As official leader, he [the principal] cannot preconceive the goals for the group. If he does, he is still in the position of 'working on' the group. He has goals he hopes will emerge and contributes them as ideas for group consideration after he is accepted as a working member of the group, but in no sense must these be a statement of official position or direction. (30, p. 26)This expression of complete democratization of the administrative role may lead some to believe that the traditional administration and supervision of school personnel, per se, is doomed. Such is not the case. John A. Bartky, who writes that:
Supervision is... the process which facilitates teacher participation on the solution of educational problems, which encourages initiative, which emphasizes cooperation, and which stresses group activity. (2, p. 17)has this to say:
I am sincerely convinced that under certain conditions when change is impossible because of reactionary attitudes of teachers or when teachers are young and inexperienced, it is perfectly proper for one who knows what he is doing to impose a curriculum upon them. (25, p. 443)There are, then, times when Cooke's 1939 ideas of the basic relationship between men would be appropriate and still in keeping with democratic procedure. Even Lindgren, writing in 1954, believes that "Leaders tend to be parental". (12, p. 160) John M. Pfiffner, writing on human relationship in he management of men, without special emphasis on the administrative and supervisory situation in the secondary school, states that:
...the leader must be people-minded and employee entered on the one hand, and firm, decisive, and objective on the other. (18, p. 220)Essentially, all of the authorities cited agree that leadership in the management of personnel should be democratic, but there are shadings of degree in their individual interpretations.
Social Relationships. There are a number of elements of teacher concern which initially would appear to be personal matters, and indeed they are, but when certain undesirable traits affect others as well as the individual, the problem is no longer strictly a personal one, but rather one of social relationships. The faculty leader may be called upon to counsel with individual teachers concerning these very personal elements which affect others, e.g., the teacher who is overweight, grouchy, has bowed legs, or oily hair. (30, p. 198) To the individual, the solution to so personal a problem is important, and calls for cooperation on the part of the individual and the principal. The principal should have faith in the individual's ability to solve problems and give adequate help when needed. It is the principal's responsibility to examine how the related elements affect others.
What should the principal do in dealing with such problems? First of all, this study does not purport to establish solutions to administrative problems; however, there are some suggestions which might help in most situations. For example, in dealing with very personal teacher problems, the administrator should first try to be of practical assistance. (30, p. 207) Then, realizing that the solution of human problems requires a great adjustment of values, he should not that what one considers adequate, another will not. Above all, he should recognize early that there is no such thing as a simple problem, but rather every problem should be considered against the whole frame of reference. (30 pp. 12 and 208) Wherever decisions affect other people, they should be determined cooperatively. Here, as leader of the faculty, the principal's function is management of the situation, and all concerned must arrive at decisions which are acceptable. (30, p. 209)
Morale. Morale, or esprit de corps is the quality which greatly affects the interaction among humans. By definition, morale is essentially the feeling one has toward his fellow men, or for his vocational situation. (19, p. 297 and 30, p. 39) This feeling is the result of a particular type of leadership which, as Pfiffner says, "consists of combining good management practices with communicative, consultative, democratic approach to dealing with people". (18, p. 209) Too frequently, we think of morale only in the senses of factory workers producing while being happy, but teachers are no different from other human beings in their desire and need for high morale. (18, pp. 12 and 192)
Morale, whether individual or group, will depend in part upon the motivation which is apparent at a given time. (2, p. 40) Lewin refers to this phenomenon as "time-perspective", and relates it primarily to organized groups. (11, p. 108) In considering morale, the administrator may observe Lewin's conclusion that moral will probably be better in highly organized groups, since they are apparently more highly motivated and persistent. (11, p. 109) A high degree of motivation, then, can be expected to manifest itself in greater group productivity. (30, p. 49 and 3, p. 284) Pfiffner agrees that productivity is a measure of morale, along with sentiments and attitudes, but for the purposes of this study, consideration will be primarily confined to sentiments and attitudes. (18, p. 209)
If, in the group situation, high morale is an objective, then there must be some effort directed toward the establishment of group goals within the realm of reality. (3, pp. 94-95) The group leader can play an important part in the determination of such goals, particularly if he has intimate knowledge of the capabilities of the several members of the group. Assuming the responsibility for group guidance, the leader can make possible the high morale of the group by providing an opportunity for each individual member to feel important through successful achievements of group goals. Lewin reports that it has been found in the case of the unsuccessful individual, that he may have done one of two things: (1) he may have set his goal below his past achievement, or (2) he may have set his goal above his realistic ability. (11, p. 11)) Although these two alternatives seem somewhat extreme, it is plausible that an unsuccessful individual could explain his condition in terms of one of these possibilities. If group standards are low, the individual will lower his standards to conform to the group, just as in the case where group standards are high the individual will seek to raise his own. Lewin states "...both ideals and the action of the individual depend upon the group to which he belongs, and upon the goals and expectations of that group". (11, p. 115)
What do teachers want that would build within them a high level of morale? Kimball Wiles, writing in answer to the question "How Can Staff Morale Be Built?", discusses a number of factors that affect teacher-morale. Among the items discussed, Wiles lists the following "job satisfactions" wanted most by teachers:
...security and a comfortable living; pleasant working conditions; a sense of belonging; fair treatment; a sense of achievement and growth; recognition of contribution; participation in deciding policy; and opportunity to maintain self-respect. (30, p. 40)All of these "satisfactions" can be achieved, at least in part, through the efforts of good leadership. The school principal, as the leader, can set the tone for fair dealing among the staff by making each member of the group feel that he is a vital part of the group, working for a common goal. In achieving this level of high morale, the principal, or school administrator, can take it upon himself to reduce group and personal maladjustments, petty grievances, and human friction. To accomplish this task is no easy matter, as many administrators will attest. However, through a deep insight into human interrelations, the administrator can accomplish this task by careful study of loyalties, personality, attitudes, personal habits, emotional stability, and physical health of the teachers involved. The principal has the advantage of being in a position where he may foster an atmosphere which stifles animosity and provides for a minimum of dissatisfaction.
In this chapter are gathered together the twenty administrative episodes alluded to in Chapter I. As has been suggested, each of the episodes is intended to stimulate discussion of an administrative problem. There is no significance to the sequence in which episodes are placed. An instructor using the episodes should feel free to "jump about" as the needs of the group dictate.
1. Second Chance.
2. Hit Back!
3. I've Got Tenure.
4. One Year to Go!
5. The New Coach Takes Over.
6. Roadhouse Interlude.
7. The Custodian.
8. The Wayward Wallet.
9. Lost Control.
10. I'm the Boss!
11. I Object!
12. Let's Be Democratic
13. The Bentonville Incident.
14. Juvenile Department.
15. Keep Your Hands Off Me.
16. Please, Don't Tell Mother.
17. I Quit!
19. The Impasse.
20. He's Really a Good Boy.
Thus it was that Herbert Foster hired Forrest Maxwell, Ph.D., retired teacher and administrator from out-of-state, to fill the chemistry-physics teaching position in Mount Holly High School.
Dr. Maxwell certainly seemed eager to do a good professional job. He became a member of local, state, and national education associations. He volunteered for service on several faculty committees. He made extensive plans for the country science fair. It was apparent to many faculty members that Dr. Maxwell was a real asset to the faculty. Mr. Foster seemed quite proud of his selection of personnel.
Mr. Foster's pride was short-lived, however. Within two weeks of the beginning of school, Mr. Foster began receiving reports of apparent irregularities in Dr. Maxwell's classes. These reports Herbert Foster attributed to the necessary early term adjustments.
As time went on, however, the principal's office received complaints relative to Dr. Maxwell's ignoring certain students or announcing a test on one chapter in the text, then giving it on another. There wee also increasing reports that Maxwell was frequently out of the room and students had free access to chemical supplies. Several students complained directly to Mr. Foster that there was open cheating during tests and no discipline at other times. Other students expressed concern that they were not getting the necessary scientific knowledge.
Mr. Foster spoke casually with Dr. Maxwell on
several occasions, and tried to give him some pointers to ease
the adjustment, but new problems arose. After report cards were
sent out, it was discovered that Maxwell was given to using
rather illogical means for determining averages. For
example, on more than one report Dr. Maxwell took A A E E D and
"E". This led to inquiries by parents, which, in turn, led to Mr. Foster's seeing Dr. Maxwell again.
Possible Decisions. In order that
he might be more specific, Mr. Foster prepared a list of
allegations to discuss with Dr. Maxwell, as follows:
1. Test announced for one chapter, then test given on another.
2. Questions seriously asked are passed off with "don't be smart."
3. Talks to one or two students all period, while others are ignored.
4. Averaging grades inequitably.
5. Assignments never given explicitly, but must be assumed by student.
6. Students have free access to all dangerous chemicals.
7. No discipline, students come and go as they please, eat in class.
8. Cheating is common.
9. Poor planning and organization.
10. Students feel they aren't learning the subject.
11. Teacher leaves class too frequently.
Herbert Foster thought to himself, "This is one of the most difficult things I have to do (talking over shortcomings). Thank goodness it only happens infrequently!"
Dr. Maxwell spoke freely with Mr. Foster, "I know I'm an old man. Perhaps I am trying to do more than I possibly can. Everything you say is true, although I feel I've tried to do my best."
"I'm certain you have," assured Mr. Foster. "However, you understand that we must be concerned with the welfare of our students, and, unless we can adjust so as to provide the most adequate program for them, perhaps we had better call it quits."
"Do you want my resignation?" queried Dr.
Maxwell. "Is that what you mean?"
1. Beaten up three times by neighborhood gang -- mother reports.Clarence Shumway, Principal, was reviewing Richard's current history prior to a conference with Mrs. Seibert.a. Police called in when R.S. was threatened with a knife.2. At school, walked out of shop three times. Poor attendance in class. Present at school but comes to class late with a note for one reason of another. When in trouble, real or imagined, he comes to office to see counselor or assistant principal and if they are busy, he just sits.
Possible Decisions. The conference got underway with Mrs. Seibert's explanation of her son's frequent appearance in the principal's office. "Miss Philmont, the counselor, told Richard that whenever he was in difficulty he should come see her."
Mr. Shumway observed, "It seems that he has been running to her at the slightest provocation. Why do you come to the office so often, Richard?"
"Everybody's always picking on me!" the boy retorted.
The Principal explored further, "When you came
back home this summer, how did the boys treat you?"
"O.K.!" Richard answered.
"What do the boys do when they gang up on you?" Mr. Shumway questioned.
Richard thought a moment, "Oh, push me off my bike, take my hat, and all."
Mrs. Seibert added, "He's never told me when he is beaten up. I always have to get it out of him."
"Well, now to your problem here at school," Mr. Shumway continued. "What you must do is be sure you get to class on time and stay there. We can't have this business of your getting up and leaving whenever you feel like it!"
"Yes, sir!" Richard agreed.
At this point, Richard's shop teacher, Mr. STanley, joined in the conference. It was in Mr. Stanley's class that the most recent difficulty had developed, namely walking out of class.
"I don't see any cause," explained Mr. STanley, "for the boy to feel he was in danger from other boys in the shop."
Mr. Shumway turned toward the boy, "Richard, have you been minding your own business in that shop?"
"Oh, I move around once in a while," Richard explained, "to get different tools and materials and sometimes the guys make remarks that they'll 'get me'!"
To Mrs. Seibert, Mr. Shumway said, "Of course I could get names of those who are after Richard, but --"
"Tattling makes boys made at him," interrupted Richard's mother. "I don't want him to be a sissy. I tell him all the time he'd better stand up and hit back."
Miss Philmont felt that some caution was necessary as she suggested, "Of course we don't want him hitting back at school or he will get in trouble with his teachers." To Mr. STanley, Miss Philmont inquired, "Could Richard possibly work on an individual project?"
Richard Seibert was a student of extremely low ability, as all professional people present realized, but since Richard was present, this pertinent point was never mentioned.
"If we give him an individual project," Mr. Stanley replied, "then all the rest will get they idea that they can do it."
Richard broke in at this point, "Only thing I want to do is a change to a different class!"
Mr. Shumway spoke up immediately, "That's just what you don't want to do. You get back what you give. How could Mr. Stanley have any confidence in you if you just walk out?" Changing to the business of Richard's after-school activities, Mr. Shumway added, "Mrs. Seibert, are you willing to have me take over these boys and get names, knowing full well that things might get worse with one or two until I can see all of them?"
"I want him to start hitting back!" Mrs. Seibert repeated.
"But we don't want to make things worse outside of school," Mr. Shumway contended. "There are too many children left to roam the streets in gangs. The parents take no responsibility and don't want to be bothered."
Richard's future at school had to be decided
at this point.
As principal of Pomeroy High for the past five years, Mr. Robert Riley had been hearing this same type of complaint about Augustus Frank, aged sixty-nine, teacher of freshman mathematics. When Mr. Riley came to Pomeroy, he had inherited several older teachers who were merely waiting for their retirement. While waiting, this group of individuals showed little or no interest in teaching. They griped and complained, objected and abstained, rejected and refused -- or so it seemed to Mr. Riley.
Augustus Frank was the only one of the retirement group still hanging on, and he was getting worse day by day. His attendance register was always incomplete and what was done was frequently incorrect, in spite of the fact that he was a mathematics teacher. "Doc" Frank, as the students referred to him, no longer wrote legibly, so someone else had to complete his students' report cards. He was invariably late for extra duties, e.g., basketball games, lunch duty, etc., and argued with Mr. Riley over administrative procedure in faculty meetings.
Mr. Riley had more or less decided to grin and bear it when he began receiving reports from students and teachers that Mr. Frank was conducting his classes in apparently undesirable ways.
Possible Decisions. "Mr. Riley," reported Miss Meany, an English teacher, "have you heard the way Mr. Frank speaks to that class he has up there now?"
"Why, no, Miss Meany," Riley replied. "How does he speak to that class?"
"Well, I'm sorry, but I can't repeat what I just heard, but I think you ought to look into it!" suggested Miss Meany.
Mr. Riley knew what she was referring to -- Augustus Frank was cursing the vocational boys again! He would have to call "Doc" in and try to straighten him out a bit, although in the back of his mind Mr. Riley knew he wasn't going to accomplish anything with him.
Out of curiosity, Mr. Riley walked by Augustus Frank's room -- the door was wide open and old "Doc" was haranguing, "Goddammit! you little bunch o' bums better shut the hell up and get to work! I'm damn well sick and tired of talking to you!" Suddenly he shouted, "William Dokes, you get he hell over here right now -- I'm fed up with you!" The diatribe could be heard up and down the corridor. Mr. Riley forlornly shook his head and quietly closed the door.
"I've got to put an end to this right now!" he thought, as he pounded his right fist into his left palm.
At the end of the day, Mr. Riley sent for Augustus Frank. "Doc" arrived in Mr. Riley's office thirty minutes after he had received the principal's note. Riley thought, "What's the use of bawling the fellow out, he won't even try to do anything about what I say!"
"Mr. Frank," Riley began, "how are you getting along with those vocational boys you have in mathematics?"
"Oh, O.K., I guess!" Frank replied with a shrug. "I never have any trouble with them kids! I know how to speak their language. You've got to 'give-em-hell'," he chuckled.
"Did you ever feel," Riley suggested, "that perhaps you might be giving them just a little too much 'hell'?"
"I'll tell you, son," Doc was philosophizing now, "when you've handled that kind of kid as long as I have, you know that the only thing they understand is being tough. You can't fool with them. All this new fangled stuff about meeting their needs is a lot of hog-wash."
Mr. Riley raised his eyebrows as he thought, "What am I going to do with this man? I've spoken to the superintendent about him and he wants me to 'work' with the man, but I can't do a thing with him! He 'knows it all' and doesn't want any suggestions." He spoke to Mr. Frank then, "I think you had better hold down on the language you use in that class, Mr. Frank. someone may get the wrong idea about what you are doing. Remember, we have numerous visitors in our building and we don't want them to get a wrong impression of our school, do we?" Mr. Riley continued without waiting for "Doc's" comment, "Try to be more simple in your approach with those slow moving students, but don't think that all of those boys are slow; you have some good students in there, so you must provide adequate learning experiences for them."
Augustus Frank was dismissed and went his way. Mr. Riley was quite dissatisfied with this approach since he felt he had not gotten this point across to "Doc" Frank.
The next morning, Bob Riley was again confronted by complaints from parents about Mr. Frank's cursing in class. These complaints came from parents of students in Frank's other classes. It wasn't simply a problem of handling the vocational boys.
Something had to be done!
Lizzie had gone through the gamut of educational experiences, from normal school training, through teaching twelve grades in one room, to being principal of the only high school in Dorset County. Of course, all of these things had happened a long time ago, and, with improvement in education, Lizzie had to give up the principalship to a better qualified individual. She returned to the classroom teaching Latin, her favorite subject, to many hundreds of interested and disinterested youths over the years.
In recent years, however, Lizzie had been having increasing difficulty getting along with some of her classes, to the point where she seemed to be nearing a nervous collapse. It is true that Lizzie had not been in the best of health during the past decade. She had undergone major surgery which would have bed-ridden a lesser individual. Not so with Lizzie. She spent only the minimum amount of time away from her teaching, which she so thoroughly enjoyed.
On her return to the classroom several years ago, it was observed by Elkhart Cranston, Principal of Madisonville High School, that she frequently lost control of her classes and of herself. On an increasing number of occasions it was reported to him that Lizzie had left her class and was in the Women's Faculty Lounge, crying. Lizzie was nearly seventy years of age and quite irritable with her students. Unfortunately, many of her students saw in her advanced age an opportunity to be devilish and, consequently, took advantage of her.
Mr. Cranston was an understanding man, according to many of his faculty member, and at the end of the school year, after much deliberation, announced that Miss Elizabeth Bently would be the new assistant principal beginning in September. Lizzie beamed with joy. After she left the meeting, Mr. Cranston explained, "You all know of Miss Bently's many years of faithful service as a teacher and as an administrator. You know, too, that the classroom has been getting the best of her. It seems to me little enough that we can do to move her into administration for her last year of education in Dorset County. I have plans for her that I think will benefit all of us. She can definitely provide a real service for us."
There was apparent approbation in the nods and knowing glances that were passed about. Fall came and the new school year started well. Lizzie was put in charge of statistics and records, among other things, and did a good job. However, as the year progressed, it became apparent to all who transacted business with her that she was becoming increasingly irritable.
Possible Decisions. Frequently, Lizzie's pent up emotions would burst forth in a tirade directed at everybody and anybody within earshot. She worked at a desk in a large general office through which much student and teacher traffic passed. When the noise and confusion became too much for her, she would shake and shout, "Children! children! don't you people realize I'm trying to work here? I can't work with all this noise!" Tears would come to her eyes and she would continue through her sobs, "Why don't you have a little consideration for me? I simply can't work here!" She would then burst into tears and leave the office. Visitors were constantly coming into the office and being subjected to these outbursts, as were the teachers. Something had to be done!
This scene was repeated dozens of times, with no apparent action being taken to remedy the situation. However, it was not all inaction that was taking place because Mr. Cranston had some ideas which he was trying to effect. Among these was a plan to partition the one large office into several smaller ones. This would not only help Miss Bently, but it would also benefit the two secretaries who would sometimes get into each other's way.
There was a far more inexpensive way of
settling the problem which appeared to hold particular merit if
the Board of Education would not supply the funds to
renovate. The economical solution was somewhat on the
inhuman side, thought Mr. Cranston, because it would mean
talking Miss Bently into retiring before the year was completed.
After all, he reasoned, she had over forty forty years' service
and would be entitled to full retirement pay.
In the Physical Education Department, Jake left three co-workers, Art Mundy, Herb Douglas, and Howie Wolfson. All three of these men had been in the school over three years, and each would readily argue the topic, "Why I Should be Chairman of the Physical Education Department". To some it might seem foolish that three grown men should be so concerned about the chairmanship, since there was absolutely no monetary reward connected wit the job. Actually, it really meant taking on additional responsibilities which would result in more work for the chairman. tHe only consolation was that the job was frequently used as a stepping-stone to administration, which would mean higher income.
So Jake moved up and Art, Herb, and Howie joked good-naturedly when they met during the summer months, each thinking he was in line for the chairmanship. P. Lowell Keller, however, was not thinking along the same lines as the physical education personnel on his staff. Keller realized that he needed, first and foremost, a football coach, if Riverside High was to meet its football schedule successfully. Good football coaches were hard to come by he discovered. At the current salary scale, he had to resort to some other device to get the man he wanted. The device used most frequently for this purpose was the offer of advancement to administration. The only way Mr. Keller could do this would be to offer an applicant the chairmanship of the Physical Education Department.
Timothy Riley, husky, young, and erstwhile professional football player, applied for the head football coaching job at Riverside. There were other applicants, but Tim and Mr. Keller seemed to see eye-to-eye on the athletic program which the latter wanted at Riverside. Tim signed a contract and was scheduled to meet the football recruits August 15.
Meanwhile, the three coaches at Riverside became quite upset at the outcome. None of them knew Tim personally, although all had heard of his pro-football experiences. Not much was said by any of the three coaches at the high school. Rather, they settled back in their lethargy and silently dared Tim Riley to have a successful year.
Mid-August arrived, with a good-sized group of football recruits reporting for the first workout. The local papers had announced earlier that Tim Riley had been signed on as head football coach, and it didn't take long for his record, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, to become known among the student body. This apparent fame of the newcomer did not, of course, help the morale of Art, Herb, and Howie. The three merely went through their paces, having met Tim, when Keller introduced him. There was little spirit or effort exerted on the part of Tim's new co-workers. In fact, Tim Riley found himself running the football program single-handedly.
As chairman of his department, Riley often found it necessary to interpret the physical education program to his fellow coaches. He also had the responsibility of working out the management problems of the program. All did not go well, however, and Tim was repeatedly confronted with personality classes between himself and the other coaches. Tim was a man with a temper. tHis didn't ease matters, as he was inclined to fly-off-the-handle when pressured too much. All of these things developed little by little, until word of the unrest in boys' physical education reached P. Lowell Keller.
Possible Decisions. Tim Riley went into Keller's office early one morning and reported, "Mr. Keller, things aren't going as well as they should in my situation."
"Oh, they aren't," Mr. Keller looked surprised. "What seems to be the difficulty, my boy!"
"I know I'm not always right," Tim confided, "but those guys down there are just downright obstinate. Everything I try to work out they have to argue about. They just seem to try to hinder everything I try!"
"It sounds as though we had better get all four of you together," Keller reflected, "and see if we can't clear up some of the misunderstandings."
"That's O.K. by me," encouraged Riley. "I want to have a good department, but we certainly don't have one now!"
A meeting time was set and all four coaches entered Mr. Keller's office quietly. The principal broke the ice by remarking that so far there seemed to be a general improvement in the physical education program. He continued, "I hope we can keep up the good work and have a banner year all the way around. Of course, we've got to learn to resolve our petty differences and keep the welfare of our students in mind at all times. What we want to do today is straighten out some of the differences of opinion which are apparently troubling some of you at this time." He caused -- complete silence. He began again. "Art, what do you feel is the major deterrent to complete harmony in the physical education department?"
Art bit his lip, clasped and unclasped his hands, "Well, I guess there is a lot of things that could be corrected. I can't just exactly say what's wrong -- I suppose one problem is the fact that Riley is new here this year. I don't know!"
"Well, if Riley is new here," interjected Keller, "that should provide everyone with a bright, new opportunity to get things of to a good start."
"That is what I thought," broke in Riley, "but it seems that these fellows just don't want to cooperate!"
"What do ya mean, we won't cooperate!" Howie Wolfson interrupted brusquely. "You come in here out of a clear blue sky and start bossing everybody around. I'll be damned if you're going to tell me what to do!"
Keller rolled back in his chair at this outburst, but Riley was quick to return the fire, "If you weren't so damned bull-headed we could get things done, but, no, you're always worried about whether somebody's bossing you!"
The conference was taking on a different atmosphere which Keller had not expected, so he hastened to break in, "Let's be careful now, men. We don't want to ;throw accusations around carelessly. Let's get to the real heart of the difficulty. Herb, what have you got to say about all this?"
Herb Douglas thought a moment as everyone in the office turned to him and waited, as if for a panacea. "I think a lot of our difficulty is due to how at thing is said. For example, during football season Tim, here, would tell us to go here or there -- I've got nothing against you, Tim. I'm just trying to bring my thoughts out into the open." Tim nodded and Herb continued, "We aren't left to use our judgment about anything at all, and I think the fellas object to this. We know we're going to do what we're told, but it's more how than what. If you see what I mean!"
"I believe we do," Keller concluded. "That looks like something we can work on."
"O.K., I agree," offered Riley, "but that is no reason why a fella can't cooperate. Why, some of these guys purposely didn't show up at practice when they were supposed to, to make me look bad, and --"
"That's a damned lie, Riley," broke in Wolfson again. "You've got one helluva lot of nerve accusing me of not doing my job!" Wolfson was getting loud now. "You take that back or I'll knock your damned block off!" Howie was rising to carry out his threat.
Riley was bout to reciprocate when Mr. Keller broke in, "Gentlemen, gentlemen! Let's not lose our heads! Let's talk this over calmly. We can't accomplish anything if we're going to act like a bunch of brawlers."
Wolfson and Riley reseated themselves. Howie Wolfson was shaking nervously and Tim Riley's face was flushed with violent emotion. Keller contemplated the situation a moment, "It seems, gentlemen, that there are several things we must resolve, but, before we can do this, I feel we must get into the proper frame of mind. I'm suggesting that we get together first thing tomorrow --after we've had a chance to cool off and think these things over with a clear mind." All present nodded agreement and departed.
A couple hours later Tim Riley returned to P. Lowell Keller's office and offered an apology. "Mr. Keller, I'm sorry for the way I acted this morning. I know I was wrong, but I just got so worked up -- I lost control for a minute."
"Well, we all do at one time or another," Keller answered.
"I'm sure now," Riley continued, "that we can get a working agreement going. It seems to me that the other fellas resent my being here and I'm just going to have to slow down and given them a chance to get to know me. I guess I have been too bossy, but I can work that out." Keller nodded as he arched his fingers together knowingly. Riley continued, "I'll have to try and watch how I tell them what to do."
"I think, now that you recognize the problem," Keller recapitulated, "you can do something about improving your relationship with the men. There is one thing they must remember, however, and that is that you are here to interpret the program to them!"
How to bring the staff together was the
decision to be made.
Students at Smithville High were no different from high school students anywhere else in America. They liked new places to go after school dances and, as fate would have it, they began finding their way to the Green Parrot -- the new roadhouse on U.S. 37. Mr. Green, the proprietor, was an enterprising business man, as anyone in town could see. A flashy dresser, he associated with the businessmen in town and managed to sign up the Kiwanis Club for Thursday luncheon at the Green Parrot. This, you can see, gave an element of prestige to his place of business.
With success following each new venture he attempted, Mr. Green thought it would be nice to invite the local teenagers to come to his establishment for dancing on Friday and Saturday evenings when the restaurant business was slow. In Smithville at this time two of the local churches were sponsoring well-chaperoned canteens for the teenage set with considerable success.
On Wednesday, in the second week of November, Mr. Green, desirous of initiating his teen club with success, called the high school and asked to speak with the principal.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Blackburn, our principal, is not in just now. Would you care to leave a message?" answered Miss Pitts, the school secretary.
"Why, yes," continued Mr. green, "I'd like to have the students at Smithville High invited to a free dance at the Green Parrot this Saturday evening, 9 to 12 o'clock. Will you announce it for me?"
"Yes, sir, I'll se that it gets in the student bulletin," replied Miss Pitts, who thought Mr. Green certainly sounded like a nice man.
The student bulletin was distributed as usual after homeroom period and there, sure enough, was the announcement about the free dance Saturday at the Green Parrot. One student chatted with another and the word spread rapidly that the Green Parrot was the place to go on Saturday night. Many parents consented to their daughters' going to Mr. Green's place on the assumption that, if an announcement appeared in a school bulletin, the school must be supporting Mr. Green's establishment. Of course this was an incorrect assumption, but it did wonders toward building up Mr. Green's patronage.
Teenage activity at the Green Parrot was tremendous that first Saturday night. Students spoke of the place many times during the following week and the local churches had only a handful at their functions on the same evening.
A week passed and two successful nights were had at Mr. green's. In fact the establishment, which can accommodate only fifty patrons, was jammed by over a hundred, and many were turned away. Mr. green felt particularly successful. This most recent weekend had netted 25 cents admission per person. Not only was Mr. Green attracting the attention of Mr. Blackburn and his faculty, but the city fathers, plus the fire marshall. When word spread of the terrific crowd at the Green Parrot, extra police were called to handle the traffic problem, not to mention breaking up the fist fight that developed.
The Mayor and Council were deluged with calls referring to the "disorderly house" that was being operated within the city limits on Route 37. Mr. Green soon discovered that there was some difficulty in obtaining his license for the following week. It was a municipal practice in Smithville for the Mayor to issue a temporary license weekly for such an establishment as Mr. Green's, pending positive proof that the business was legitimate and the proprietor conformed to existing ordinances.
Not only was the City Hall switchboard flashing and buzzing, but so was Mr. Blackburn's. Many parents were seeking information concerning the types of activity the school supported. Mr. Blackburn reiterated fifty times if he said it once, "We give no support nor offer any criticism of the Grene Parrot. it is strictly a commercial activity, on private property, after school hours. In reality, it is a parental problem if a problem at all!"
There was a public hearing held at the City Hall on the following Monday, one time on the agenda being the renewing of the Green Parrot's license as a cabaret for Friday and Saturday dining and dancing. Considerable public sentiment had been aroused over the now infamous Green Parrot, and the city fathers were amazed at the great number of local residents who packed the hearing room.
There were those present who could see no harm in permitting Mr. Green to continue his activity at the roadhouse. Among these was Mr. Green who spoke at length in reference to his impeccable character. tHen there were those who opposed the Green Parrot in vociferous speeches. there were students and parents present and on several occasions it was mentioned that the principal of Smithville High opposed the roadhouse under any conditions. Several students spoke in defense of Mr. Blackburn. There were also references made to a parolee who was being employed as a "bouncer" at the establishment. This caused many raised eyebrows among parents, who failed to recognize the need for a strong-arm at a teenage dance. other allegations were tossed about freely by many individuals, such as, "the proprietor doesn't allow drinking on the premises, but tells kids to 'go across the street', and there are no fights on the premises, but participants are told to go 'down the road'".
Possible Decisions. At 10:30 the morning after the hearing Mr. Green present himself to Miss Pitts outside the principal's office at Smithville High, "I'd like to see Mr. Blackburn, if ya please!"
"Just one moment, I'll see if he is free. Who shall I say is calling?" queried Miss Pits.
"I'm Mr. Green of the Green Parrot," replied the proprietor.
Mr. Green, a huge man of somewhat rough manner, strode into Mr. Blackburn's office, "Mr. Blackburn, I'm Mr. Green. I have the restaurant over on the highway, ya know."
"How do you do, Mr. Green! Have a seat, won't you," Mr. Blackburn responded. "What can I do for you?"
"Well, I'll tell you frankly -- I know you're a busy man -- so am I. I'm not pleased with some of the things that were said at the hearing last night. Ya know, your name was mentioned several items and I thought I'd better see ya personally and get your ideas straight from you!"
"Mr. Green, I'm glad you came directly to me. I've heard about some of the things that were said at City Hall last night, but I want you to know that this school neither sponsors nor condemns your place of business," the principal emphasized.
"That's all I want, Mr. Blackstone," Green fumbled. "I don't expect you to support me, but I don't want anybody saying anything about my place that's not right. I've got a living to make. Lord knows I'm not making it on these little Saturday dances. I'm giving the kids a little recreation they can't get anywhere else around here."
"It seems there was some question about one of your employees that disturbed some of the parents --," Blackburn began.
"Yeh, I know," interrupted Green. "So he's got a record. I'm just giving the guy a chance to square himself and get a new start. He gets along wit the kids fine. We have some of your football players over every week -- they'll tell you nothing goes on that's out-of-line. What's their names? -- Mike Sandowsky is one of 'em. Ask him. He'll tell you what kind of a place I run. There's no drink in there. We did have a couple guys from downtown who came out there, but Marty, he's the guy I was mentioning, saw to it that they left."
"I'm sure you're doing your best, Mr. Green," assured Mr. Blackburn.
"I'll tell you, Mr. Black," Green couldn't get the name straight, "I'm no said, but I know how to keep my hands clean. Ya know I'm not goin' to be mess' around with teenagers' drinking. It's true some outsiders are going to come it. Why, just the other night two women drove in from Hellertown, ya know. Now they were women you'd know, but I'm not mentionin' names 'cause that's the kind of a guy I am. I'm tellin' you they were so crocked they could hardly stand up. So, Marty and me just put 'em back in the car and sent 'em on their way."
"Have you had any other difficulties, Mr. Green?" questioned Mr. Blackburn.
"Not to speak of, Mr. Blackman!" Green was quite nervous as he defended his establishment. "There's been some talk about some 'pushers' trying to horn in on my place, but I haven't seen any. Believe me, I can spot 'em -- those wide eyes and all. Mary's there to keep a lookout. Of course, If these kids want the stuff they're goin' to find it. Why you got a couple kids right here in school that use the stuff -- I'm not mentionin' names -- but I've seen 'em come in there 'riding' high'! I get 'em out as soon as I see 'em! There're some girls who come up there to make a pick up, but they take the guys away from the place -- I don't let them do anything in the cars. I make 'em clear out."
"Well, mr. Green, I'm sure you run your business to your satisfaction," continued Mr. Blackburn, "but you may be sure that the school will neither condemn nor condone your Green Parrot." He rose as to conclude the visit, "I'm glad you came in and now you can understand my position!"
"I'm glad to hear that, Mr. Black. Why don't you come over and see my place sometime?" invited Green.
Mr. Blackburn nodded, "Good day, sir!"
Mr. Green left the room and Blackburn pulled
out his handkerchief and wiped his brow. He must decide
what his future policy was to be in reference to community
social activities and school. There would be other
establishments and organizations seeking school sanction.
Lakeland Junior-Senior High School had had considerable difficulty keeping an adequate crew of custodians employed. What with poor pay and the resulting turnover in custodial help, it was a wonder that Lakeland High appeared as well as it did. Tobias Salter, as principal of the school, had managed to keep old Mr. Keefer on as head custodian by doing little favors for him, such as letting him get the after-hours' fees from community groups using the school facilities. Aside from Mr. Keefer, however, there was usually a turnover of at least one or two assistants each week.
Mr. Keefer, try as he would to keep the buildings in spotless condition, could not cope with the continual turnover of cleaning personnel. He apparently became confused about what to do in order to remedy the situations that developed.
At the beginning of the school year, Mr. Slater worked very closely with Mr. Keefer in setting up specific tasks for each of the four day-men and the four night-men. Together, the principal and head custodian designated one of the night men, a Mr. Winterly, to be in charge of the night shift. Everything seemed well organized and apparently started out very smoothly. Before long, two day-men had quit and one night-man left. This meant that those remaining had to double up on duties in order to accomplish certain tasks. These developments required Mr. Keefer to rapidly adjust schedules, and quite frequently he had to do some of the cleaning himself, which had not bee contemplated.
Doubling up on duties meant that some things simply did not get done. Teachers' complaints came to Mr. Salter's ears: "There weren't any towels in the teachers' lounge again today!" "My room hasn't been cleaned for f week!" "When is Mr. Keefer going to mop the locker rooms?" etc. Tobias Salter evaluated these complaints, reassured the teachers, and reminded Mr. Keefer of the necessity for checking more closely on his helpers. Mr. Keefer said he was doing his best, but the conditions under which he was working did not help him much toward improving custodial services.
The central office eventually provided replacements for the three custodians who had left, but no sooner had these reported for duty than two others for the night shift quit.
Mr. Winterly, in charge of the night crew, was not very adept at telling others what to do. Consequently, the night vacancies placed a very heavy burden on his shoulders. Mr. Winterly was a white haired, retired factory worker of some seventy-four years. Hew as receiving a mere pittance as a pension and really needed to work to support his wife and himself. Because the head night custodian received ten dollars a week more than regular custodians, Mr. Salter and Mr. Keefer both thought it would be a good idea to give this added responsibility and additional remuneration to Mr. Winterly. The action seemed wise, but the outcome did not justify the action. When new men came on the night shift, Mr. Winterly failed to give them explicit directions as to what they should do and, further, he never assumed the supervisory function assigned to him. Thus Mr. Winterly's night-shift problems became Mr. Keefer's day-shift problems.
The school was being neglected, as far as custodial services were concerned, to the extent that the central office found it necessary to employ an efficiency expert in this field to come in and study the whole problem of custodial service, and then make certain recommendations for improvement of service.
From the outset, Mr. Keefer and the efficiency expert did not get along well together. Mr. Keefer did not like to be criticized at such length as the expert found it necessary to do. The result was that many recommendations were made by the expert, but few, if any, were carried through to completion. Mr. Keefer would do what the expert told him while the latter was present, but, as soon as he left, Mr. Keefer would revert to his old way of ding things.
Possible Decisions. Mr. Salter, in an effort to improve custodial service, thought that the efficiency expert's recommendations were worth a fair trial.
"Mr. Keefer, I want you to study these recommendations in this efficiency expert's report, and then we'll work out a completely new work schedule for day and night shifts," explained Mr. Salter.
"O.K., Mr. Salter," Keefer agreed, "but I don't think much of his ideas. You remember what happened when we put that stuff on the chalk boards the way he told us. It took us a week of scrubbing to get the boards back to where the teachers could use them again."
"Yes, I know," countered Tobias Salter, "but he has some good ideas in that report, and we want to give them a try!"
Mr. Keefer followed Mr. Salter's suggestion and read the report as best he could, then the two go together and outlined the new tasks for all custodians. Some who had been cleaning certain rooms were shifted to other parts of the school. Job assignments were changed and the cleaning staff complained.
"Mr. Salter," Keefer began, "I've got those crews working on the new schedule, but you can believe me they don't like it! That fella might be an expert, but he sure ain't getting anything done around here."
Mr. Salter had to make a decision
Emerson Junior High was crowded. Jay Bortner, Principal, had battled for several weeks with the problem of scheduling lunch periods so as to accommodate the entire student body. He finally arranged a three-sectioned lunch period which seemed to be working fairly satisfactorily.
Following the second-section lunch, the cafeteria manager, Mr. Slatterly, found a wallet on one of the student tables. She picked it up and looked for some means of identification, but could find none. This concerned her, however, as there were over ten dollars in the wallet. She reasoned, then, that whoever lost the wallet would soon notice the loss and return to the cafeteria to claim it. Therefore, she took the wallet into the kitchen and placed it in a drawer under the general work table.
After the third-seciton lunch, Chuck Warren, ninth grade student of good reputation, came back to the kitchen and inquired about the wallet. Mrs. Slatterly responded, "Yes, I found a wallet out in the lunch room last period. What was in it?"
Chuck replied, "Oh! I had about ten dollars and some pictures. No identification card, though."
Mrs. Slatterly, being satisfied that the wallet she had found belonged to Chuck, went to the drawer where she had placed it. She opened the drawer, but the wallet was not there. She stooped over to get a better look, "My heavens! The wallet's gone. Now, what do you think of that! I wonder where it got to." She paused quizzically, then called out to al the kitchen help, "Did anybody see what happened to the wallet I put in this drawer?" No one knew anything about it. Mrs. Slatterly looked again -- this time taking everything out of the drawer and then carelessly dumping everything back as she wondered, "what could have happened to that wallet?"
Everyone in the kitchen was looking for the wallet. All drawers, cupboards, and the shelves were searched without success.
"Well, I don't know what happened to it, Chuck! I'll have to see what Mr. Bortner can do about it. You wait where while I give him a call," assured Mrs. Slatterly.
Possible Decisions. Mr. Bortner arrived on the scene within a few minutes. All the work in the kitchen stopped. Mrs. Slatterly, Chuck, the three cooks, and three helping students gathered around the drawer from which the wallet had disappeared. Mrs. Slatterly reviewed the situation for Mr. Bortner.
"Well, it seems fairly evident that the wallet did not simply get up and walk away," Mr. Bortner began. "Someone in this room either took it or knows where it is!"
Each explained that he knew nothing about it. Mr. Bortner wrinkled his brow and took on a stern look, as he said, "If I have to seek out the guilty one, it will go hard with him, but I'm giving the guilty party an opportunity to replace the wallet without consequence. Whoever took the wallet may return it to my office, and nothing further will be said about the matter." He dismissed the group and turned to Mrs. Slatterly, "Who do you think took the wallet?"
"I'll tell you, Mr. Bortner," Mrs. Slatterly explained, "that little Bobby Workman has had me wondering. He's never taken anything, but he's a shifty little fellow."
"Let's talk with him. Oh, Bobby." Mr. Bortner called over to the dishwashing machine where Bobby was working, "come here a minute."
Bobby, wearing a full-length white apron, walked over to where Mr. Bortner and Mrs. Slatterly were standing. He reported sheepishly, "Yes, sir?"
"Bobby, what do you know about this wallet? Did you see it when Mrs. Slatterly put it in this drawer?" questioned the principal.
"No, sir! You can search me -- I haven't got it!" Bobby offered.
Mr. Bortner dismissed the boy and advised Mrs. Slatterly to inform hi or any new developments. He then returned to his office. When he returned, he observed that no wallet had been placed on his desk. He soon became lost in a mass of work that was piled before him.
Later in the afternoon, however, Mrs. Williams, teacher of Chuck and Bobby at different times of the day, came in to report on some further developments. It seems that Chuck had confided in Mrs. Williams and revealed his loss when he was asked about his subscription money for the English workbook the class had decided to buy. This was not upsetting, in itself, since students were apparently losing money from time to time through their own carelessness. What caught Mrs. Williams' attention was that in her last period class, while she was collecting for the seventh grade workbook, little Bobby Workman proudly announced that he had his money "today". Mrs. Williams questioned Booby about this because she knew something of his circumstances, and it was unusual that he would have any money on his person.
When questioned, Bobby responded, "Oh, I have lots of money now!"
In the meantime Chuck Warren was doing some investigating on his own. He talked with a number of students and eventually got around to talking with some boys in Bobby Workman's class. In commenting about his wallet's being lost and identifying it by its color, one of the boys recalled, "Bobby's go at wallet just like that. He said he just got it last night."
Shortly after classes dismissed, Mr. Bortner welcomed Chuck into his office, with Bobby in tow, plus the boy who had helped identify the wallet.
"Mr. Bortner," Chuck began, "this is the one!"
"Well, now, are we sure?" cautioned the principal.
"Yes, sir," Chuck explained his own investigation and added, "just after the last bell range I saw Bobby running out of the lavatory upstairs. I thought something was funny so I went into the lavatory to look around. I found the wallet behind the radiator."
"Was anything missing?" questioned Mr. Bornter.
"Just some change, sir," replied Chuck.
"How about this, Bobby?" Mr. Bortner searched Bobby's eyes, "Do you admit taking the wallet?"
Bobby merely nodded. Mr. Bortner excused
Chuck and the other boy. Bobby remained before him with
As Miss Jackson's schedule developed, Mr. Carswell noted that her academic English was going to be rather large -- forty students -- but Miss Jackson felt that would be no problem in itself.
Pamela began her second year with much vigor. She had taken a graduate literature course at the university during the summer to be better prepared for the challenge of her new class, and felt quite confident that she could offer her forty outstanding students a valuable contribution toward their body of English knowledge. She reviewed her class roster with sparkling pleasure: John Matthews, Student Government President; Sally Winters, Senior Cheerleader; Samuel Bottomly, Editor of the Yearbook; Betty Jensen, Chairman of the Dance Committee, etc. Here, in this one class, were gathered most of the leading students at Stanton High. This was indeed an opportunity.
Miss Jackson's new students were equally happy with their assignment to her class. The word had gotten around last year that "Jackson's classes are a snap!" This particular group of students met their new teacher with open minds. They wanted to know "What can we get away with?" "Will she clamp down on us?" "Can we get her 'goat'?" and the like. With their knowledge of Miss Jackson's previous classes, these students were out to put their new English teacher to the test.
Pamela Jackson took her class good-naturedly. She did not feel that she would ever have to send any of these outstanding students to the office for disciplinary action; therefore, she let them do things she would ordinarily not permit. Time after time she met her academic English group amid cat-calls and other annoying activities. Periodically, the class would drop books simultaneously, begin coughing together, hide Miss Jackson's roll-book, an come to class without their textbooks.
Possible Decisions. As the first semester came to a close, Pamela Jackson came to her wit's end. She burst into Mr. Carswell's office in tears. "That class is terrible!" she sobbed. "I don't know what to do with them! They are just getting impossible," she continued, whimpering.
"No, now," consoled Mr. Carswell, "Have a seat here and pull yourself together."
In between sobs, Pamela Jackson reviewed the general misbehavior of her "outstanding" class. Mr. Carswell made mental notes of the incidents she described.
"They've just gone too far," she sobbed. "Yesterday they hid the record we were using -- that wasn't enough, though. Today they hid the record player --" she burst into full tears again. "I've tried to teach them, but they won't let me! Somebody's always got some wisecrack about something, and then everybody starts laughing -- I honestly don't know what to do!"
Mr. Carswell observed that MIss Jackson was too emotionally upset to speak factually, so he suggested she go to the lounge and relax a bit and he would go and speak to the class. Hew as quite disturbed himself at this development because he felt he had given Miss Jackson the best schedule possible to permit her to grow professionally, and now it appeared she had lost all semblance of control.
Principal Geoffrey Carswell took on a very stern look as he opened the door to Miss Jackson's classroom. The room was a silent as a tomb. He observed that the "lost" record player was resting upon Miss Jackson's desk with a record in place as though ready to lay. He scanned the faces that were turned toward him. "How unfortunate," he thought, "that the class with so many student leaders should be in this condition!"
"It seems," Carswell began, "that you people find particular pleasure in taking advantage of a favorable situation." He paused for effect. "For some reason or other you are trying to take advantage of your teacher's good nature and, in turn, make this class a miserable experience for her, and eventually for yourselves.
"I'm telling you right here and now that this kind of monkey-business is not going to be tolerated. In the first place, you're huritng yourselves. You know you need your English credit to graduate. In the second place, you are all planning on attending college, and, if you don't prepare yourselves now, you're going to have a difficult time next year.
"You have already wasted half a year. This is serious! What we want to do now is get at the cause of this difficulty. Let's hear from you people. What is it that is wrong?" Mr. Carswell paused -- no on volunteered to speak, so he continued, "You all had plenty to say when Miss Jackson was in here a few minutes ago. Let's hear from you now!
"George, how about you? What do you think has caused this situation to develop?"
George thought and stammered, "I -- I don't know. I -- I guess we -- we have just taken advantage of her. I -- I don't know."
"Well, while you're getting your thoughts together, let's hear from someone else. Jean, how about you? What do you think has caused this?" questioned Mr. Carswell.
"I suppose we are all guilty of doing something or other to disturb the class. Somebody does something or says something funny, and we all laught, stated Jean. "I know it isn't right -- what we've been doing. There are some of us who want to learn, but we can't because of all the confusion in here. I know it's not the kids because we are together -- most of us -- in other classes and we don't act like this."
"Well, f that's true," broke in Mr. Carswell, "there must be something specifically wrong in this class. Is that a fair assumption?" All heads nodded approval.
Bob volunteered, "I know one thing. Miss Jackson never does what she says she is going to do! Like -- she'll say she's going to kick somebody out if something happens again, and she doesn't do it!"
"That doesn't make the act right, does it?" queried Mr. Carswell.
"No, sir," replied Bob, "but I guess we've just gotten to believe she's kidding all the time. She does kid around, you know. Like yesterday when somebody hid the record -- she laughed like everybody else."
The discussion continued for a full forty-five minutes, with the students talking more freely as time went on. Mr. Carswell noted the following points:
1. Miss Jackson had not told the class what was expected of them, academically or otherwise.The class was dismissed and Mr. Carswell sought Miss Jackson in the teachers' lounge. He wondered how he could best counsel this demoralized teacher.
2. There had been too much "buddy-buddy" spirit, or familiarity.
3. The students recognized they were at fault.
4. They realized they must buckle down or possible fail the college entrance exams.
5. All students indicated equal guilt in causing the untenable situation to develop.
6. Miss Jackson lacked ability to be firm.
7. Teacher has not been specific or clear in many explanations and assignments.
8. The class recognized the need for correcting themselves if the class was to be successful.
Wilbur Morgan was forty years of age, energetic, dogmatic, and the holder of a Master's Degree in Education from an out-of-state university. He gave the impression that he was well pleased with himself as a high school administrator and wanted his staff to feel similarly. It was difficult for a staff member to get to talk to Mr. Morgan. He was always busy when in the office and could not be approached successfully in the corridors. Morgan said himself that the school should be run by his assistants without his being present. He regarded individual staff problems in much the same manner.
The administrative staff at Washington High included two assistant principals, in addition to Mr. Morgan, who were, and had been for some time, carrying the major administrative burden of the school. The assistant principals frequently discussed their fate. They certainly did not appreciate being saddled with so many responsibilities which ordinarily would be shared by the principal. None the less, they did their jobs while Mr. Morgan continued to side-step responsibility.
Possible Decisions. The principal called his department chairmen together for the avowed purpose of improving communications among the staff. In addition to the chairmen, the assistant principals were to be present. As the group took their eats in the principal's spacious office, Wilbur Morgan was talking on the telephone. The telephone conversation continued for several minutes while the various members of the group squirmed and looked at each other, realizing that they had classes to teach in one hour. Mr. Morgan finally concluded his telephone sojourn and turned to Mrs. Morse, English Department Chairman, "What have you done to improve the course of study in English?"
Mrs. Morse was somewhat flustered when put on the defensive so abruptly, "Why, we have held several conferences wit the teachers in the department and --"
"Do you have any trouble with your supervisor?" Morgan interrupted.
"Mr. --, " began Mrs. Morse.
Morgan cut her off again, "Have you been able to get along with Mr. Patrick, Science Department Chairman?"
"Why, I suppose so," stammered Mrs. Morse, "but I don't see what the --"
"I've heard," Morgan broke in again, "that there has been some difficulty between English and science." (Mr. Patrick attempted to explain, but Morgan ignored him.) "We can't have that around here. Now let's get at the problem -- the real problem, I mean. I've known these situations to develop before, but they can be dealt with. In my experience, the best procedure is to provide an opportunity for everyone involved to speak his piece and then we don't have to go around and imagine things that aren't true. Now, that's what we want to do here -- get everyone to speak up."
"Mr. Morgan," began Rudolf James, Social
Studies Chairman, "I believe we are being put on the defensive
from the start -- "
"That's what we want," encouraged Mr. Morgan, "more participation. Miss Johnstone, what have you done to improve relations with the English Department? You know it takes a lot of doing to get along with another department."
"I've always tried to --, " began Miss Johnstone, as she was immediately interrupted.
"Sometimes I get the feeling," continued Mr. Morgan after interrupting, "that some of you people simply do not want to cooperate. You never speak up and let me know what you think."
Mr. James was getting red in the face, "Mr. Morgan, I believe that we -- at least I -- am being put at a disadvantage by having to justify my actions when I've been under the impression that what I have been doing has been satisfactory. Of course, if it isn't satisfactory, I want to know about it."
"That's exactly what I'm telling you!" exclaimed Wilbur Morgan. "If you don't think you're going to be able to handle the situation, maybe you had better give up your position here and go someplace else!"
"Damn it!" broke in Mr. Patrick. "This is ridiculous! We evidently got together to do something, but I don't know what. So far the only thing that's happened is that we have all been put on the spot to defend something or other. I wish I --"
"So, you don't see why we're here, Mr. Patrick," Mr. Morgan was getting angry. "Well, if you're too dumb to catch on maybe you had better go someplace else, also."
"All I want, Mr. Morgan, is to know what we're doing and where we are doing," pleaded Mr. Patrick.
"I'm very glad you said that, Patrick," said Morgan, as he pointed an accusing finger. "That just shows you why this whole mess has developed -- you don't know what you're doing!"
Miss Blandford and Mr. Michels, assistant
principals, had not said a word throughout the meeting.
The meeting had gone just about as they expected, since most
conferences with Mr. Morgan ended up as one-way diatribes.
What could they do? Mr. Morgan had read many books on
human and personnel relations and often referred to himself as
"a good personnel administrator."
Not all of these qualities were immediately observable. Therefore, as Mr. Runnion examined his record and noted the interest Mr. Wright had in the new program, the principal felt that Wright would make the best choice for the job.
The position required establishing and maintaining good relations between the school and local business establishments. Essentially, the program provided that a student attend his basic classes (English, history, mathematics, or science) for a half-day and then perform supervised work in a regular place of business for the other half-day.
Organizing such a program presented many problems which, for the most part, were worked out cooperatively by Mr. Runnion and Mr. WRight. AS far as relations with the community business people were concerned, both men felt that Mr. Wright should become affiliated with one of the local service organizations. He subsequently joined the Lions Club. The purpose of this affiliation was ostensibly to foster good relations between the school and community and to improve Mr. Wright's contacts with local employers. Mr. Wright attended the afternoon luncheons regularly.
The program struggled the first year and then progressed during the second and third years. A number of students participated, but the quality of the participation was not pleasing to Principal Runnion. Much time was spent by Mr. Runnion and Mr. Wright in attempting to make the program more meaningful to the students participating. Unfortunately, Mr. Wright was more prone to harangue his classes and to make "ridiculous speeches" (or, at least so reported the President of the Lions Club) at the Lion's Club meetings than he was to provide stimulating planned lessons to his classes.
Scheduling Mr. Wright's classes had been a problem for several years. He assisted with the general school office activities in the morning in lieu of regular homeroom assignment. In addition, it was necessary that his noon class be covered each Wednesday when he was supposed to attend the Lion's Club luncheon. This last development caused considerable friction in that other teachers on the staff were called upon to substitute during their free time. Ordinarily, his substitution would not cause much ill-feeling, but Mr. Wright was a notoriously poor disciplinarian and organizer. Consequently, when another teacher came to his class, there would be pandemonium and confusion because there was no work planned. Other staff members began dreading this assignment. Mr. Runnion spoke to Delbert Wright about this situation on several different occasions, but, after temporary corrections were made, the class was permitted to revert to its old ways again.
A particularly unpleasant aspect of Mr. Wright's situation was the fact that students and community openly made a joke of his activities. Blusterer and bragadocio, Wright left much to be desired as a public-relations contact for the school with the community.
Possible Decisions. Mr. Runnion had been made increasingly aware of the fact through comments made by community business peop-le.
The President of the Board of Trade had recently remarked to Mr. Runnion, "Boy, that Wright fellow is certainly a windbag. You should have heard him go on at the Lion's the other day about his experience in marketing!"
SEveral business firms had expressed displeasure over Mr. Wright's methods in attempting to place students in their establishments. Their remarks were similar in nature, namely, "Who does that fellow [Mr. Wright] think he is, coming in here and telling me how to run my business!"
Mr. Runnion weighed these comments very carefully in trying to arrive at some decision as to whether to change sponsors of the program or eliminate the work-study program altogether.
Discussion with Delbert Wright did nothing to help Mr. Runnion decide to retain him. In an effort to have a course he had designed in economics set up in Manchester High, Wright went over the principal's head to the superintendent. it was only after the proposed program had been presented to the superintendent without the principal's knowledge that Mr. Wright saw fit to discuss it with Mr. Runnion.
"Mr. Runnion, I'd like you to know that the superintendent has indicated a favorable response to my economics course. Since he likes it so well, I think you ought to plan to put it into effect for the next year," assumed Mr. Wright. He continued without encouragement from the principal, "Because of my extensive experience in industry, I feel that I would be the logical person to teach this course. Incidentally, I have drawn up a detailed course of study," he pulled a bulky volume from his briefcase and placed it before Mr. Runnion. "I know you will like it. Well, I'll leave it with you to read over," concluded Mr. Wright, as he got up and left the principal's office.
The time was close at hand when Mr. Runnion
would have to decide about his program and staff for the next
year. He was as yet undecided about Mr. Wright and the
Milton High was a relatively new school. The building was not yet two years old and the staff included approximately 50% new teachers. The community in which Milton High was located was also new, having been developed within the last three years. All this newness abounding in her school presented a genuine challenge to Miss Vernon to test the democratic aspects of administration she had studied.
As the school year progressed, Mabel Vernon employed democratic methods as often as she could. There were numerous faculty committee meetings to help determine school policy, but lecture-type faculty meetings involving the complete staff were infrequent. Teachers were encouraged and provided opportunities to participate in discussions of many aspects of education to meet the needs of the students at Milton High.
In spite of Miss Vernon's varied attempts to keep her administration on a democratic basis, she found it necessary to cut short some staff activities which were apparently democratic in nature. It became increasingly evident that teachers who had selected specific dates for chaperoning dances, athletic contests, etc. were not reporting for duty at these functions. Miss Vernon had to lay-down-the-law to the whole faculty. She would in the future inform the teachers when and where they were to report for extra duty.
AS the year progressed, Miss Vernon noted that she was making more and more decisions for the faculty, e.g., how to mark report cards, when to hold parent conferences, how to improve the student activities program, etc.
Several weeks before the close of the first semester, Mabel Vernon had the feeling that she had gone too far toward restricting the democratic spirit of the staff. To remedy this situation, she called a special faculty meeting to determine the method of conducting semester examinations. It was established policy in the school district that the individual principal could decide on whether or not to conduct final examinations in a particular school.
Possible Decisions. The faculty gathered as scheduled, and Miss Vernon proceeded to expound on the virtues of her democratic administration. "As you all know," she began, "I have tried to administer this school as democratically as possible, and, although at times it has been necessary for me to curtail free action in some respects, I feel that the decision as to whether or not we hold semester-final examinations should be left up to you. Now I would like to hear some expression from you as to your wishes in this matter."
There was a brief silence before the mathematics department chairman, Mr. Rudolf spoke, "I think we definitely ought to have final examinations for the senior-high grades!"
Miss Grover, Spanish teacher, echoed Mr. Rudolf and added, "I don't see how you can hold semester-finals in one period. I'd like to see a schedule that would set up two-hour blocks of time for examinations in each subject!"
Miss Vernon explained, "Of course, you realize, with our large enrollment of 1500 students, this will entail considerable reorganization."
Miss Grover nodded as Mr. Rudolf broke in, "I think we've got to realize that we have a lot of college-prep students who need the practice in taking two-hour exams!"
Several staff members nodded apparent agreement as many gave no visible indication of approval or disapproval. Miss Vernon went on then, apparently accepting the few opinions expressed as being the consensus of the group. "Well, now we could set up the cafeteria as the testing area, couldn't we?" Without waiting for an audible reply, she went on, "We could run the tests from 9 to 11 in the morning and 1 to 3 in the afternoon. This would mean we would need three days for the exams, wouldn't it?
"I suggest that we test first period subjects during the first two hours in the morning, then let the kids go home to study for a couple hours, then come back at one o'clock for their second period exam, and so on," Mr. Rudolf offered.
There were approximately fifty teachers in the room, but very few contributed to the discussion. Mr. Manning, mechanical drawing teacher, asked, "What happens to the students who don't have an exam in their first period class? aRe they supposed to go to regular class or stay home?"
Mr. Rudolf offered his opinion, "They could stay at home and study. We did it that way back in Scaggsville."
"How are we going to know who is supposed to be in class and who is supposed to be taking the exam?" inquired Mr. Manning.
The question went unanswered as Miss Baxter, home arts teacher, broke in, "I think we ought to do everything possible to leave the daily schedule just as it is. I've found that every time we change things around for an assembly program or a football game the result is nothing but confusion. The children get all worked up and are virtually impossible!"
Mr. Rudolf countered, "Oh, that's nothing to worry about! These kids are old enough to know how to conduct themselves. THey won't be any trouble. We really need a two-period exam in math this year!"
"Why not leave the schedule the way it is," Miss BAxter retorted, "and just break your test down to two parts and give them separately?"
"You could do that," agreed Mr. Rudolf, "but that would destroy the effect of final examinations taken in a single two-hour block of time!"
Others were talking back and forth now -- some agreeing with one idea and disagreeing with another. Miss Vernon called for quiet and proceeded to put two plans on the blackboard:
(1) Two-hour period, three-day schedule."Now, let's vote on which one of these we want," she continued.
(2) Keep present schedule and fit exams to each period.
Miss BAxter spoke without being recognized, "I still think we're doing the wrong thing. There'll be students wandering all over the school, and we won't know who is to be in one place and who is to be in another."
"I'm concerned about the students who are going to wander into the business section of town when they are supposed to be a home studying," cautioned Mr. Detweiler, English teacher of twenty-year's experience. "I think we're placing too much responsibility on these kids. Why, we can't even get adults in our own group right here to do what they're supposed to."
Mr. Rudolf came back quickly, "Well, if they go up town we can tell them we'll just cut out the special schedule. I don't think they'll go into town, frankly. The test I've got worked up for my algebra group will keep them busy studying." Mr. Rudolf laughed approvingly at his solution.
Once again the noise of conversation engulfed the teachers as they discussed the exam schedule. Some were vigorous in their approval or disapproval while many remained silent, expressing no opinion. Only a few voted for the two-hour schedule but even a smaller number opposed the motion. A great many of those present abstained from voting.
The examination schedule went into effect and almost immediately the fears that Miss Baxter expressed were realized. Neighboring schools called to complain about Milton High students wandering through their halls and disturbing classes Parents called about the new schedule, "How do I know when my boy's supposed to be in school and when he's not?" questioned several mothers. Miss Vernon also heard from more irate parents, "I'm not going to tell you who I am except to say I have a daughter in that school and I'm worried about what you're letting those young people do. Do you know those boys and girls have been going to homes where there are no adults and having indecent parties? I'm telling you, if you don't stop this business of sending students home without supervision you're going to have a delegation of us mothers up there!"
Miss Vernon blinked in astonishment, "Well, I'm certainly glad you told me about this."
The anonymous parent went on impatiently, "I'll tell you I'm thoroughly disgusted. Why, I interrupted at least two o these parties just today. This is a serious thing and I think you should do something about it. YOu might like to know that at least one family has four different doctors working on their daughter now to keep her from getting pregnant."
Miss Mabel Vernon was too socked to say anything as she hung up the telephone. This was what she had feared. What was to be done?
Because there was a history of incidents at both schools, the respective principals (Mr. Talbot of Bentonville and Mr. Gordon at Silverton) had agreed to campaign annually against vandalism and the detrimental effects it could have on public opinion and the relations between the two schools. The campaigns were apparently successful because there had been no incidents, as such, for seven years.
The current year was to be no different, as far as Mr. Gordon and Mr. Talbot were concerned; if anything, student conduct would improve. As usual, a week before the annual football contest both men got together and agreed once again to emphasize sportsmanlike conduct among students, team, and schools. A general assembly was held in each school, and the principals addressed their students.
On Sunday evening following the assembly and preceding the game, Silverton Principal, Mr. Gordon, received a telephone call from Mr. Talbot, "Gordon, they've done it again. Somebody was here last night and soaped all the outside windows, put grease on the door handles, and splattered paint all over the front doors of the building!"
"Did they get inside?" asked Gordon.
"Apparently not," was the reply, "but it's plenty bad enough!"
Possible Decisions. "I'm all for calling off the game!" exclaimed Talbot in a rage. "These students have got to learn once and for all that we're not going to stand for this kind of carrying-on!"
"Now, wait a minute, Talbot," cautioned Gordon. "You know as well as I do that there were probably only a very few involved. Let's find out who they were and punish them and not the whole school."
"That sounds easy," replied Talbot, "but who's going to find out who was involved and what's going to happen to them?"
Gordon continued, "I'll meet with the student government heads in the morning, and we'll see how the students feel about canceling the game."
No decision could be made until morning, but, in the meantime, Mr. Talbot racked his brain for information about who could have done this thing after all the "preaching" that had gone on the previous Friday.
As students arrived in the morning, the halls were abuzz with gossip over the week-end attack on Bentonville High. With the comments about what had happened, also was spread the rumor that the game was going to be called off.
Mr. Gordon called together the student officials: George Riley, President; Michael Day, Vice President; Louise Armstrong, Treasurer; and Evelyn Longman, Secretary. The school was apparently quite proud of its student leaders since George was an honor student, Michael was a star player on the football team (his father was on the school board), Louise was an honor student and leader in many activities, and Evelyn was also an active senior student, although she had not quite made the honor list.
"I suppose you all heard what happened at Bentonville High on Saturday night," began Mr. Gordon in grave tones. "Needless to say, this is a very serious thing. I can see only one course of action at this time and that is to cancel the game."
The students looked downcast and as though they had expected this action by Mr. Gordon. "Sir," George began, "couldn't we possibly lay the game if we found the guilty party and had him make good for the damage he did?"
"Of course," continued Mr. Gordon, "you're assuming a boy is the only individual involved. I happen to know that there were several students involved, of which group at least one was a girl! Have any of you heard anything about who may have been involved?"
Heads shook negatively. Louise spoke up, "Mr. Gordon, I think we can find out who was up there Saturday night, but we need a little time. Can we have until tomorrow morning to find out who the guilty ones are?"
George agreed, "I think that's a good idea, sir. If we could have until tomorrow morning before you make your decision, I'm sure we can find out who was there. If not, then we'll just have to cancel the game."
Evelyn also offered audible agreement. Michael had not said a word, but Mr. Gordon put the question to him squarely, "Mike, how about it? Do you think you can find out who was there?"
Mike thought a moment and then replied, "Yes, I think so."
The student leaders left the office. It wasn't long before Mr. Gordon received first one telephone call and then another from business leaders who had heard of the incident and were afraid the game might be canceled. "You know that game means a lot to the community," warned one businessman. "Boys will be boys -- let them play the game," chuckled another. Gordon knew the pressure was on, but, while trying to decide on whether or not to cancel the game, one of his teachers, Mrs. Walters, a resident of Bentonville, stepped into his office.
"Mr. Gordon, I just want to tell you I think it is simply terrible the way some children behave these days. Do you know who it was that did that terrible things in Bentonville?" Without waiting for an answer, she went on, "You know my oldest boy goes up there and he said he heard some boys and girls talking about Michael Day being around the school on Saturday night. Of course, it's only hearsay, but perhaps Michael can shed some light on the matter." She said good-bye and left as quickly as she had come in.
Gordon was somewhat stymied at the prospect of Michael Day's being the culprit -- particularly since he was just in the office and denied any knowledge of the affair. "Or did he?" thought Gordon. "All the boy really said was that he would help find the guilty party by tomorrow. What a development it would be if School Board Member Day, Sr., were to discover that his own son (a player on the varsity football team) had been the instigator of the Saturday night incident at Bentonville High!"
Michael was sent for. After some pressure from Mr. Gordon, he admitted that he and his girl friend, plus two other Silverton football players, had gone to Bentonville and done the damage. Michael felt no compunction at not having stated everything when he had been in the office earlier in the day. In fact, Mike was rather flippant in his answers to Mr. Gordon. It was apparent in Michael's manner that he felt a certain immunity to the customary disciplinary action that Mr. Gordon administered because of his father's position on the school board. Under ordinary circumstances, Michael and his fellow players would be "kicked off" the team for the season and the young lady involved would probably be suspended from school, along with the boys.
Gordon expressed his feelings to Talbot in no uncertain terms. "You know what I want to do to that boy, Talbot. I'd like to kick him out of school permanently. I can't stand a kid like that! The thing that burns me up is that he knows I'm over a barrel with his old man ont he Board." Talbot voiced agreement and Gordon continued, "I've got my whole career to think of. If I don't treat that boy the same as any other student, why, my whole basis for discipline will be destroyed. I don't' know what to do. Mr. Day has been notified of his boy's carryings-on, and I've got to decide what I'm going to tell him. What would you do, Talbot?"
The morning papers told an unbelievable story: Teenagers Blast Teacher's Home!
Police were able to locate traces of a homemade type bomb. While police were conducting the investigation, another bomb report came during the day from a local restaurant -- fortunately no one was injured . A few days later, police apprehended three teenage boys as they were about to toss another homemade bomb into the local police station.
The bomb trio was incarcerated briefly and released on bail. Being minors, the three boys were released in the custody of their parents until trial. The trial was placed on the docket one month hence. The question of what to do with the boys in the meantime arose. Two of the boys were taken out of state by relatives and the third, Jack Fenton, aged 18, was to remain in the custody of his family. Jack was a twelfth grade student at Greensville High, but, after performing such an act of violence against a teacher, it was deemed necessary he be removed from the high school for the good of all concerned.
The responsibility for this transfer rested on the Superintendent of Schools. Superintendent J. Emerson Whitfield accepted his responsibility and proceeded to call Patrick Morgan, Principal of Upper Dixon High, to his office for consultation.
Pat Morgan arrived in plenty of time for the meeting and enjoyed making light conversation with Dr. Whitfield's secretary while he waiting. It was not long before Mr. Morgan was ushered into Dr. Whitfield's office where the latter blurted, "I have one of the boys from the Greensville bombing for you!
Morgan was startled! He had regarded this as a possibility but not a probability. AT this point, Jack Fenton was ushered in with his attorney and his father. Dr. Whitfield explained that the boy was scheduled for trial at the end of the month, and the plan was to take Jack out of school in the area of the bombing and place him in Upper Dixon High.
Mr. Morgan observed the boy closely and later expressed the opinion, "That boy certainly doesn't give the appearance of a troublemaker, but then you never can tell." Morgan certainly did not want any troublemakers added to his enrollment. In fact, he was just getting his own student body to settle down. tHe prospect of adding a criminal, or a reasonable facsimile of one, to the student body was frightening to Principal Morgan.
The attorney wanted his client to be regarded in the very best light prior to trial and proceeded to do everything he could to reestablish Jack at Upper Dixon High. He inquired about the proper dress at Upper Dixon and told Mr. Fenton to buy him new clothes (this was no hardship, as the family had money). Jack was to quit his night work at a nearby drive-in and was warned by Dr. Whitfield, "We're transferring you for your own good, but I must tell you that if there is one slip-up -- out you go!"
Possible Decisions. Principal Morgan
returned to Upper Dixon High from the superintendent's office
and, while driving, he pondered a number things that came to
mind about adjusting young Jack Fenton to the new high
school. Morgan questioned whether or not he had an
responsibility to help this boy. He wondered what would
happen if some of the boys would recognize Jack. Would he fight
back? Pat Morgan was very much concerned about student
reaction to this boy's presence.
Mr. Charles, can you come quickly? We have a riotous student in your office --t here are four teachers there now and they don't know what to do with her!"
Mr. Charles was up and heading toward the office as the teacher continued, "She is acting like I have never seen a student act during the whole time I've been teaching. I'm telling you, she is a real character of the first order, yelling and screaming!" Mr. Lipscomb was there too, and reported, "I've never heard such carryings-on!"
Entering his office, Mr. Charles was set upon by four teachers who, in turn, conveyed the following information:
"She went on at a great rate about my pushing her -- I never did any such thing, as the others will testify."
"she told me to shut up -- the insolent thing. I hope you throw her out of school. I wouldn't have that girl in my class under any circumstances."
"I told the whole group to move back into the hall a half-dozen times and then she barged up front and said she wasn't going to move; whereupon, I pushed my finger against her shoulder and told her to move back. She screamed, 'Get your hands off me!' Why, I was completely flabbergasted."
At this point the student in question appeared
with flaming, tear-filled eyes, her arms full of books, and
denouncing her accuser,
"That's a lie! No teacher's going to shove me around!"
Mr. Charles cut her short with, "That will be enough, Ann! Go inside and put your books down," he pointed into this office.
Ann Lehman went into the inner office and each of the four teachers continued to stress the exigency of the situation with reminders of, "Nothing like this ever happened before!"
Inside the office, Mr. Charles jotted down Ann's full name on a four by eight card and inquired as to Ann's grade and home telephone number.
Possible Decisions. "All right, Ann, let's hear your story," invited Mr. Charles.
"Well, I had to go and sometimes you just have to go and you can't hold it, and Miss Johnson wouldn't let me go to the lavatory. No teacher's going to stop me from going to the lavatory if I have to go."
"Why didn't you attend to that problem before lunch instead of waiting until the last minute?" queried Mr. Charles.
"I tell you, Mr. Charles, I have weak kidneys and just can't wait. It happens just like that!" she replied, snapping her fingers.
"Well, that doesn't give you any right to talk to your teachers the way you just did out there in the hall," Mr. Charles pointed out.
"Nobody's going to push me around! They have no right to stop me from going to the lavatory," screamed the girl.
"I'm certain none of the teachers was trying to keep you from going to the girls' room. To whom have you reported this special condition? Have you brought a doctor's certificate to the school nurse so that the proper people can be informed?" offered Mr. Charles.
"No, I haven't," replied Ann.
"How do you make it through fifty-minute class periods without always being excused?" questioned the principal.
"Sometimes I can hold it but usually the teacher excuses me," explained the student.
"Well, in your special vocational set-up you can come and go pretty much as you please, can't you?" Mr. Charles suggested.
Ann replied quickly, Oh, no, Mrs. Fullmer doesn't always excuse us."
"But you manage to control yourself. Why couldn't you control yourself this time?" Mr. Charles raised his voice.
"I had to go and that's all there is to it!" retorted the girl emphatically. "I told you I have trouble with weak kidneys and I just couldn't wait any longer. What would you do if you had to go and the teachers wouldn't let you?"
Ignoring the last question, Mr. Charles continued, "Don't you feel that you have an obligation to the school and yourself to inform the nurse of your condition so that the school can help you? You haven't told any of your teachers, the nurse, or myself of this condition until now and yet you expect to receive special treatment because of a condition which is unknown to your teachers. Young lady, until you can learn to follow the standard procedure for informing the nurse of this special condition, you are going to be treated just as everyone else and you will be expected to conform for the benefit of the majority. You have an obligation to keep you school informed of these developments so that we may better meet your needs."
"Well, I don't care! No teacher's going to put her hands on me and get away with it! I'm going to have my father come up here and straighten them out! If that's the way this school is going to be urn, I'm getting out of here!"
"I think it would be well if your father did visit us here at the school," suggested the principal. "Perhaps some of these misunderstandings could be cleared up. In the meantime, you have to maintain your proper status as a student in relation to your teachers. You have no right to talk as you did. It would be wise if you were to see the teachers involved personally and apologize for your unwarranted outburst!" suggested Mr. Charles.
"I'm not going to!" shouted Ann. "You'll hear from my father. No teacher's going to push me!"
"You had better give this matter some very careful thought, then we'll see your parents about this business!" concluded Mr. Charles.
Classes were dismissed for the day at 3:30, and Mr. Charles continued pondering the cafeteria teacher-duty schedule. A short while alter the telephone rang. Mr. Charles picked it up and said, "mr. Charles, Principal, speaking."
"This is Mr. Lehman!" came the angry voice over the telephone. "I want to know what you think you're trying to do to my daughter up there! I'm going to take this mater to the superintendent. It's an outrage the way you think you and those teachers can go around hitting children -- !"
Mr. Charles flinched at the accusations. What was he going to do?
"There is a possibility that she may have forgotten to sign in if she came in late," suggested Mr. Jefferson, Principal of Peabody High. "I'll check further here at school, and you be sure to question Catherine when she comes home."
"Very well," replied Mrs. Rolfe, "I'll certainly speak to her when she comes in."
The next day, Mrs. Rolfe called the school, "Mr. Jefferson, Catherine is home ill today, but I spoke to her about absence from school, and she swears she was present all but the four days she was home last week," explained the girl's mother.
"Well, I'm glad to hear that," sighted Mr. Jefferson. "Would you tell her to see me when she comes back tomorrow so that I can give her the proper class admission slip?"
"Very well, and thank you," concluded Mrs. Rolfe.
Possible decisions. Because of the pressure of administrative business, Mr. Jefferson was unable to check on Catherine Rolfe's whereabouts on the day in question.
Catherine Rolfe reported to Mr. Jefferson's office the first thing in the morning. In the meantime the attendance record was reviewed in its entirety. It was observed that, in addition to the days Mrs. Rolfe knew her daughter was at home ill, she had been unaccounted for on three separate days. Catherine was confronted with this situation on the occasion of her visit to the office.
"Where were you Monday of this week, Catherine?" inquired Mr. Jefferson.
After some hesitation and hand-twisting, Catherine answered, "I was in Clarksville!"
"What were you doing there?" questioned the principal.
"I went to see Mrs. Kendrick," Catherine replied.
"you were out all day, were you not?"
She nodded and Mr. Jefferson continued, "What were you doing there?"
"Just visiting!" Catherine shrugged her shoulders.
"Of course, your mother doesn't know where you were, does she?" Offered Mr. Jefferson.
"No," was the simple response.
"You realize that the school has a responsibility to keep the parents informed when a student doesn't attend the classes she is scheduled to attend. We had better give your mother a call and bring her up-to-date." Mr. Jefferson picked up the telephone and began to dial as Catherine tugged at her fingers and bit her lip.
Suddenly she pleaded, "Can I talk to you before you call her? Please?"
Mr. Jefferson placed the telephone back on its hook and continued, "Go ahead, let's hear about it!"
"Well, I've been going with Larry Kendrick. My mother knows about it, but I found out that he is married. [pause] So I went out to Mrs. Kendrick 's house -- she's his mother. I met his wife, too. I didn't know he was married. [Tears began to flow freely] If I had known, I would never have gone out with him. I just wanted to see his mother and make sure."
"Dos you mother know of your visit or that Larry Kendrick is married?" encouraged Jefferson.
"No, she doesn't know," replied the girl. "It thought I could get by without telling her. I don't want her to know!"
"Well, you certainly must realize by now that she will have to be told sooner or later!" Mr. Jefferson stated emphatically.
"Can't I just make up the time I missed and not bring my mother into this?" pleaded Catherine.
Bearing full responsibility for his widowed mother and three younger sisters, Jack wanted only to learn enough about auto-mechanics to get a job and quit school. For three years there had been no real bread-winner in the family, and Jack was beginning to show signs of the strain he was under. He was frequently sullen and always depressed, his mind apparently far removed from school matters.
In spite of his many undesirable characteristics, including terrible body odor and facial acne, Jack had an agreeable nature which manifested itself at infrequent intervals when he felt he could take some rare friend into his confidence.
Apparently, Jack had been subjected to considerable corporal punishment, accompanied by much booming vituperation, during this span of years; so much so, that now, instead of acquiescing and becoming submissive during such a tirade, he resorted to belligerent responses.
Jack's most recent difficulty with the school authorities was over an incident of misbehavior while riding the school bus. It seems that Jack caused quite a scene when student patrols tried to make him move over on his seat in an overcrowded bus to allow another student to sit. The "scene" consisted of an outburst of profanity by Jack and some reciprocal pushing and shoving, all of which were not considered acceptable behavior on a school bus.
Possible Decisions. The several individuals involved were brought to the assistant principal, in charge of discipline, by the bus patrolman for proper action. "Proper action" at this point consisted of a vocal reprimand emitted in various emphatic tones, with the major emphasis centering upon the safety factor involved. Mr. Schwartz, the assistant principal, observed that the message was not reaching Jack Warner. After what Mr. Schwartz regarded as an appropriate amount of time had elapsed, he dismissed the students involved, but asked Jack to remain behind.
In quiet, paternal tones Mr. Schwartz remonstrated. Jack raised his eyes as the lecture continued along lines of reason.
"Jack, you have a responsibility to yourself and to your classmates on that bus to do everything in your power to make each ride as safe as possible for all concerned," reminded Mr. Schwartz.
Jack nodded agreement and, as the lecture continued, sighed and nodded some more. Gone were the down-turned mouth and glaring eyes of a few minutes before.
The reprimand lacked nothing but the volume of the previous ordeal, but the lowered volume made way for some degree of apparent understanding.
Jack Warner went on to class then, admittedly sorry for causing such a commotion.
The Principal, Mr. Seymour, having been briefed on the incident by his assistant, later encountered Jack in the waiting room of the main office and proceeded immediately to punish him verbally, "Warner, it seems you can't do anything but get into trouble around here!" chastised Mr. Seymour. "If you can't straighten out, we don't want you here!"
Jack's brow knitted, as his mouth drooped in a belligerent frown. Not one to defend his position readily and knowing Mr. Seymour as he did, Jack remained sullen and silent as words pummeled him.
"I'm sick and tired of babying students like you, Warner, and you're going to straighten out or else!" boomed the principal. "As far as I can see you haven't done anything right this year -- in the office every fifteen minutes for something of other! Now you get on to your class immediately, and don't let me catch you in here for anything else! D you understand?"
Jack could only nod at this point. He spun himself around and headed for class while Mr. Seymour went to another part of the building. Jack never made it to class, but instead strode toward Mr. Schwarz's office, intent upon his decision.
"Mr. SChwartz, gimme a clearance sheet, will ya?" requested Jack.
The assistant principal studied Jack in amazement for a brief moment. When Jack was last in the office he had seemed set on getting back to class and working. What had brought about this turn of events? "How come, Jack?"
"I'm not going to school any more! He
didn't have to talk to me like that -- I quit!" retorted Jack.
Two days before this, Mr. Patterson, Principal of Central High School, received a telephone call from an anxious Mrs. Jacobs, "Mr. Patterson, this is Mrs. Jacobs. A a member of the PTA Executive Committee, I feel it is my duty to tell you that we parents feel something should be done about the dances held at the school."
"What do you mean, Mrs. Jacobs?" asked Mr. Patterson.
"I mean that there are a good many of us mothers who are disturbed by the conditions that exist at the dances. I mean things like not enough light, girls coming to the dances stag, and boys drinking" continued Mrs. Jacobs.
"Well, if you feel it is an urgent matter, perhaps we should arrange a meeting with the counselors, class advisor, and a couple interested parents present. Apparently there are some misconceptions running rampant that should be cleared up. Incidentally Mrs. Jacobs, have you ever attended one of our dances?"
"No, I haven't, Mr. Patterson, but my oldest daughter, Louise, has told me all about them, and I don't like it one bit -- why I have four other daughters who will be coming up there in the next few years, and I don't want them to experience the embarrassment Louise has."
Mrs. Jacobs had been asked by the president of the PTA to take over the functions of an ill member of the Executive Committee and was doing so with considerable enthusiasm.
The meeting was scheduled, and the interested parties were informed. Present at the conference were two parents (one of them was Mrs. Jacobs), two counselors, the class advisor, President of the Student Government, and Mr. Patterson.
Possible Decisions. As the conference began, Mr. Patterson reviewed the background of the chaperone request from last year. Essentially, this request came from the faculty, who felt the PTA should provide a certain number of parents as chaperones for after-hours social functions which their children wanted to promote.
Mr. Patterson continued, "Th students have been after me time and again to get their dances going, but I have been putting them off because I didn't want to go ahead until the parents had been contacted. Frankly, we want some parents to chaperone -- we already have scheduled at least four teachers for each affair."
Mrs. Murphy, a parent, questioned, "Is there a place for us in planning dances?"
"Well, I'll tell you, Mrs. Murphy," replied the principal, "each activity has its own committees for special arrangements. the students like to do their own planning, and of course, the faulty sponsors always supervise such planning."
"You know, I thought it might be a good idea if the parents formed an orchestra to provide music for the dances, and it would save a lot of money," suggested Mrs. Jacobs.
Mr. Patterson, trying to contain himself, replied, "Well, you see there is a student orchestra available, and I would hardly think -- "
"I know my husband would like to help -- he used to play a saxophone in the college dance band. My, but we used to have fun in those days. Nothing like the dances they have nowadays," insisted Mrs. Jacobs.
"Mrs. Jacobs, it won't be necessary for the parents to supply the music," concluded Mr. Patterson.
"Actually, record dances are better supported here than orchestra dances, you know!" offered Mr. James, the class advisor.
"I'd like to help these boys and girls really organize a dance," Mrs. Jacobs offered. "They really don't know what a good dance is. Why, we could have Paul Joneses and specialty dances with prizes, all under bright lights."
Mrs. Murphy looking very thoughtful, suggested, "I think the younger ones need more group dancing."
"Oh, we have several weeks of instruction in dancing during physical education period," replied Ruth Freed, Student Government President.
"Another thing," continued Mrs. Jacobs, "I think it's terrible the way these children dress for these dances. Imagine going to a dance in dungarees and 'T'-shirts. Why, we wouldn't let boys into our dances who didn't wear ties and coats."
"Mrs. Jacobs, I believe you will find that there is different dress prescribed for the several dances held at the school. Certainly a couple of the affairs are informal dungaree-type dances, but you will find that most of our dances are such that ties and coats are required of the boys, and the girls wear high-heels. We feel very definitely that dress has a lot to do with behavior and our aim is to encourage the best of both," Mr. Patterson explained.
"How about all these girls coming to the dance unescorted? I don't approve, I'll tell you!" blurted Mrs. Jacobs.
"Ninety per cent of our people come unescorted. This gives them an opportunity to meet others--," Mr. Patterson retorted, "this does away with so much 'going steady'. We don't worry about their coming unescorted on dance nights. The nights to worry about are those when there are no dances, and parents let them roam the streets!"
"Well, I never let my daughter go unescorted at any time and I don't think any of the other girls should -- we were never allowed to go out by ourselves when I went to high school --."
"Mrs. Jacobs, you have a lot to learn about how this school is run!" interrupted Mr. Patterson.
It was necessary to decide what should be done
about the chaperones.
Into this latter category fell Betty Malone, eleventh grade student. Betty had registered for her second year of typing the previous spring with low passing grades for her first year's effort. Miss Peterson, thirty-two-year-old typing teacher at Jackson High, had recommended to Betty and to the class counselor that it might be better if Betty would register for some some other class or else decide to do a great deal more work on typing than she had in the past.
Betty was considered to be "flighty" and "snippy" by many teachers on the faculty. In fact, she was on occasion downright insolent. There were repeated incidents of her talking back to her teachers. In typing class, there was obviously friction between Miss Peterson and Betty Malone. In the first place, Miss Peterson liked to feel that her students were really trying and she put in considerable extra time before and after school assisting students who were having difficulties. Betty was having difficulties, but she never showed up for Miss Peterson's willing assistance.
When being called down for one thing or another, Betty became argumentative and sarcastic, frequently saying things to Miss Peterson that no other teacher would tolerate. It was because Miss Peterson had been working with Betty for several years that she continued to try to help the girl.
The situation reached a climax when James R.
Godfrey, Principal, arrived one morning to find a typed message
resting on his desk. Mr. Godfrey meticulously hung up his
hat and coat, rearranged his calendar and pen stand (the
clearing girl never put them back in place), then sat deep in
his swivel chair and read the message:
Mr. Godfrey,Mr. Godfrey moaned to himself, "That Peterson -- a frustrated old maid!"
I cannot admit Betty Malone to my typing class without an apology. I have nothing further to say to her, so a conference will not change the situation. I am listing below the offensive things she said to me, and you can judge for yourself.
During the first period class, I suggested a change in attitude toward her work and school in general.
She answered, "It wouldn't make any difference what attitude I took, it wouldn't be right."
I stopped her in the hall on her way to her shorthand class. My idea was to have a calm talk with her in order to get her straightened out. I mildly suggested again that she had been somewhat impertinent in class. ON this she argued that she had not.
Later I still tried to talk to her and her answer was (1) that I had no right to stop her in the hall on her way to another class, (2) that she didn't want to talk to me, and that she was not going to talk to me -- that I was just like all the other teachers in this school.
When she came to my typing class, I simply told her that I could not admit her without an apology. her reply was, "I won't apologize!"
Possible Decisions. It was obvious to Mr. Godfrey that, although Miss Peterson didn't want a conference, no remedy for this difficulty could be found without one. It would depend on how he went about it, Godfrey reasoned.
Mr. Godfrey saw Betty and Miss Peterson separately and got them to agree to a joint conference later in the day.
Betty and Miss Peterson entered Mr. Godfrey's office in complete silence. Godfrey observed Miss Peterson's reddened eyes and noted that she looked ready to burst into tears at any moment. He shifted his gaze to Betty Malone. Betty gave the impression that she was bored by the whole business.
Godfrey cleared his throat, "Well, it seems as though we've reached an impasse in this situation. Perhaps if we can air our feelings here we may be able to better understand what the difficulties are, and then we can proceed to do something about them." There was no visible response from either of the two women. Mr. Godfrey continued, "Perhaps, Betty, if you would air your feelings we could discover the real difficulty. How about it, now, what, to you, seems to be the real problem?"
"Oh, I dunno," began Betty. "I don't -- I feel -- I just think Miss Peterson doesn't like me. She never has!"
"That's not true, Betty, and you know it!" interjected Miss Peterson with alarm.
"Well, you've always been picking on me. You never say anything nice about my work!" Betty lamented.
Miss Peterson, becoming disturbed, "You must certainly understand that all I'm truing to do is help you!"
Mr. Godfrey, seeing that the conversation was heading in the wrong direction, questioned, "What was the real problem today, Betty?"
"Well, Miss Peterson was bawling out the whole class for not doing their work right and she started picking on me 'cause she doesn't like me!" Betty repeated.
"Miss Peterson, would you comment on this?" invited Mr. Godfrey.
"Well, as you know, some students in that class have just simply been loafing all along, and, in order to jack-them-up, I was criticizing their work --trying to point out the necessity for practice if they hope to become qualified typists," replied the teacher. "I was suggesting that Betty change her attitude if she planned to succeed. She was downright impudent to me in class."
"I was not!" shouted Betty.
"Here, here, now -- no need to get loud," cautioned Mr. Godfrey.
"Well, I wasn't," continued Betty. "Besides, I already have a typing job and I'm doing all right without all that practice she's been talking about," pointing to Miss Peterson.
"Of course, you may feel qualified now, but you still have a lot to learn before you become a real typist," Mr. Godfrey added.
"Wouldn't it be better to apologize to Miss Peterson than to cause yourself a lot of trouble?"
"I won't apologize to her!" Betty repeated.
"I'm certainly sorry, Betty, if I've given you the impression that I'm picking on you or that I don't like you," Miss Peterson's eyes were filling with tears and her voice became choked. Betty shrugged her shoulders indifferently, and Miss Peterson burst into tears. She simultaneously blurted out, "I don't se why I'm on trial!" and dashed out of the office, clutching her handkerchief to her eyes.
Mr. Godfrey was embarrassed at the results of the conference. It was a complete failure -- or nearly so. He still had Betty in the office so, in an attempt to salvage something from the conference, he made a point with her, "You know, Betty, sometimes you must be humble and apologize, even when you think you are right. IT doesn't do any of us any good to be stubborn as you have been. You've got to learn to take criticism gracefully."
There seemed little else to do at the moment. Betty was not convinced that she had been in the wrong, nor was she convinced that she needed what the school had to offer; after all, she had worked last summer as a receptionist in a doctor's office -- no need to be subordinate to teachers any more.
What was to be done by way of definite action was yet to be decided.
School work had been a problem for rank, primarily because he would not buckle down and do the work he was supposed to do. His personal file revealed attendance at numerous secondary schools, private and public, in the area. The reason for his being asked to leave each one was usually the same, "academic failure and truancy".
It was his fifth transfer in three years that brought Frank to Brockton High School where he was registered in the eleventh grade "on condition". It seems that Frank had not successfully completed tenth grade English, among other subjects.
Frank came to school late without fail and parked his shiny new "olds" in the school parking lot. He refused to stay after school for his tardiness by presenting a variety of excuses which his mother and aunt believed. Mr. Pearson, Principal of Brockton High, found it necessary to counsel Frank in regard to his tardiness to school and to classes, but this apparently had little effect.
During the first several weeks of school, Frank attended sporadically, but proceeded to fail in every subject. The Guidance Department worked with Frank, but could make no ostensible progress. It was only a matter of time before rank decided to take a vacation.
Frank failed to appear at Brockton High for several days before Mr. Pearson was able to call Mrs. Carson. She was shocked that Frank had not come home for several days.
"Mr. Pearson," began the mother, "I didn't really worry about Frank's not coming home because he sometimes stays at a friend's house without telling me. I never thought he would take advantage of me -- you know you can't hold these teenage boys down too much!" she laughed.
The next day Mr. Pearson's telephone rang and Mrs. Carson reported, "I had a call from Frank last night. He's in Florida, you know. He and a couple of the boys went down in Frank's car and they got stranded without any money, so I wired him $100.00 to pay expenses to get back. Sometimes I think maybe I shouldn't have given him the car, but he does drive me to work, you know."
Mr. Pearson agreed with her, "Perhaps you have gone a bit overboard for him. Now, when he returns I think we'd better get together and have a talk."
Several days later, Frank had still not returned, and Mrs. Carson called the school again, "Mr. Pearson, I can't understand why Frank hasn't come back yet. I'm a nervous wreck. What should I do?"
Mr. Person suggested, "Well, if you are really worried, you could call the police."
"Oh, heavens no!" she exclaimed, "I don't want them involved. Frank's a good boy and I don't want to worry him."
During the course of the conversation, Mrs. Carson reviewed Frank's unsuccessful school experiences and, in between nervous sobs, lamented her own marital misfortune and the ill effects this had had upon Frank.
Mrs. Carson was informed that the boy would be suspended from school until a parental conference was held. Mr. PEarson pointed out that there was something drastically wrong when a boy Frank's age was not able to make up his mind to finish school and then work toward that goal. The boy's mother then commenced to plead for her "poor little boy".
On successive days thereafter Aunt Francie called to harangue Mr. Pearson for his cruel action in suspending Frank. "Do you know that right this very minute his poor mother is so upset she had been confined to bed? Why, it's a crime! You know, you shouldn't be so hard on these youngsters. They're just children and need to be helped --," Aunt Francie went on and on.
Possible Decisions. At the conference, Aunt Francie came in with Frank because the mother was too upset to get out of bed. The conference followed the same pattern as the telephone conversations. Mr. Pearson was as solicitous as possible of Aunt Francie, and of Frank, and of their problem. He attempted to point out the importance of Frank's learning to meet his responsibilities and answering for his own deeds. The meeting concluded, and Frank was to see Mr. Pearson the next morning and be readmitted to classes.
Frank strode into Mr. Pearson's office late, as usual. As he entered he swaggered over to an easy chair and "flopped" into it. Mr. Pearson observed this activity silently, and mentally noted Mrs. Carson's and Aunt Francie's believing that they were dealing with a young, innocent irresponsible boy. The principal was inclined to agree that the boy was irresponsible.
Mr. Pearson prepared the necessary papers to get Frank back into class, handed them to the boy, and, after cautioning him on his future behavior, sent him on to class. Scarcely an hour had passed when Mr. Pearson noticed that Frank's record card needed some revision, and that the boy, himself, would have to supply the information. THe boy was sent for, and the reply was that Frank was not in class. A general announcement failed to bring Frank to the office. It was apparent that the boy had not really meant anything he had said in the past. Frank and the family had been warned that a repetition of this action would result in expulsion.
Mr. Pearson studied the factors involved very carefully:
1. The boy in question was beyond the age of compulsory school attendance.The time had come for Mr. Pearson to make a decision about Frank Carson.
2. He had failed to succeed in four other schools for the same reasons he was failing at Brockton.
3. The parent was completely unrealistic about the boy's problems.
4. Frank was not genuinely interested in finishing high school even though he went through the motions.
5. Although not specifically a discipline problem, Frank was monopolizing an undue amount of the school's time with problems which should have been handled by the home.
6. Perhaps job responsibility would stimulate the boy to the point of discovering himself.
7. Frank had demonstrated that he had no regard for school regulations.
Some of the following suggestions resulted from a perusal of existing dissertations. Other suggestions have come directly from the present study.
Whereas this project is primarily concerned with the relationships between the school executive and others, the writer feels there is a need for further study it he area of relationships between students and teachers.
Recommendations of procedures used in the experimental training of teachers which reveal the different patterns of personalities needed in teaching would be of value. Then, there could be follow-up studies on the success or failure of different types of teachers in handling different situations.
STudies are needed to determine the prevailing moods in classrooms in different communities as related to contrasts in administrative and supervisory policies.
Some study might be initiated to determine the incidents of neurotic behavior and strong tensions in teachers, as well as to indicate the extent of serious maladjustments. There should be a search to determine whether conditions under which teachers work contribute to the development and persistence of anxiety, fears, and tensions. There should also be some attempt to evaluate the efforts of teacher training institutions to eliminate or re-educate potential misfits. More important, there should be a study made of the effect of such disturbed teachers on pupils.
There should be some inquiry into the profession itself to determine whether the basic personality needs of teachers can be adequately met. For example, some questions might be: Does the profession encourage the normal biological functioning by encouraging marriage? Are facilities for recreation available? Do teachers have ample opportunity to achieve belonging to groups with similar interests? Are teachers able to enjoy financial and occupational security with freedom from worry? Are teachers provided with opportunity for rich experience of life to the point of bringing them to realistic thinking?
There seems to be some relation between parental background and attitudes toward school. It is suggested that some research might well be directed toward the incidence of poor school experiences among parents, how these experiences affect attitudes toward school, and the ensuing effects upon the success of their children as students.
In light of the current trend to employ retired personnel to fill teacher vacancies in critical high school subject areas, e.g., science and mathematics, there should be some research done to determine the relative success or failure of such practices. Studies in this area might well compare such elements of teaching as teacher-pupil rapport, adjustment problems of retired personnel, and the like.
There seems to be a need for some original research into the effects of attendance laws upon education. Compulsory attendance and child labor laws need to be re-evaluated in the light of recent developments in education and in labor.
Finally, the writer suggests that there is need for continued research in the preparation of school administrators. Among the several areas of administration of schools there is one area that is almost completely ignored by school executives primarily because it does not sound "education". The area in question involves the practice of investigative techniques. There is an apparent need for some objective training in investigative procedures as they might apply to the school situation, e.g., thefts within the school that do not warrant calling in the police. Schoolmen could benefit from research which would prove this need statistically and help bring about some positive training in this area.
Brief Summary. It is apparent that the complexities of living today for school personnel make necessary increased study about, appreciation for, and application of improved human relations techniques. There has not been much scholarly study of the principal's role as a human relations "artist", but recent innovations such as the White House Conference of 1955 and the formation of regional Cooperative Programs in Educational Administration, have emphasized the importance of this vital administrative position.
The school principal holds a position of great influence in initiating and stimulating democratic action through his administrative, supervisory, and leadership roles. Since the major purpose of American education is the preparation of democratic citizens with all the inherent ramifications, the principal can see to it that the operation of the school unit is conducted in the democratic tradition.
Human interrelations are vitally important in the administration of a democratic secondary school and involve all of the human emotions, desires, needs, and attitudes. It is incumbent upon the modern school administrator to be able to identify and react to the factors of human behavior that make for a smooth-running organization and to identify and eliminate the factors of behavior that make for disorganization.
There are many lists of "suggestions to administrators" that may or may not work, but many administrators agree that the individual principal will have to establish his own modus operandi. There is, however, agreement on the basic nature of democratic administration.
By way of preparation for secondary-school administration, this study endeavors to provide a training instrument, namely, several administrative episodes for study by administrative aspirants. The episodes do not purport to provide answers or solutions to administrative problems, but they do present genuine situations which were actually faced by several high school principals. Their solution is not so important as are the human interactions which are evident in them.
Conclusion. This study is only a small part of the research that is necessary to put secondary school administration on the high professional level where it should be. Although there are efforts being made to improve the administrator's position, the efforts are not sufficiently widespread or intense. There is much that needs to be done in the preparation of candidates for the principalship which is not being done. Specialized professional training including such devices as the administrative internship and practical experiences in handling the problems of people through clinical study of human behavior need to be incorporated into the training programs for future principals.
This study attempts to identify some of the
areas which require a principal's attention, and to provide a
practical means whereby the principal may better prepare himself
to achieve success on the job.
"Very well, Mr. Foster," Dr. Maxwell tried to be light and carefree as he spoke, but his tones were labored, "if you feel it should be that way. I want to do what is best for the students." He paused and looked off into the distance as he continued in pitiful finality, "I can't help but feeling that this is the end for me. I'm retired from another state and now I've failed in this attempt. I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't teach again -- what else is there for me?"
"I'm very sorry it had to be this way, Dr. Maxwell," Foster sympathized, "but I'm sure that you will see that this is the only solution. It would only bring sorrow to you if you continued as things were progressing. I'll se that the necessary papers are taken care of before you leave on Friday. Believe me, I wish you the best for the future."
Results. Dr. Maxwell left on
Friday, as scheduled, without any fanfare. In fact, many
of the teachers did not know he was leaving. Foster
juggled a few schedules and found a young fellow on his staff
who was unqualified on paper but very willing to teach chemistry
and physics. Certification could be accomplished by the
Results. By the end of the third period
Richard Seibert had been sent to Mr. Shumway's office -- for
punching some boy in the nose!
Results. Augustus Frank retired
from teaching in June of the same year. Before Mr. Frank's
retirement, however, Bob Riley made almost daily visits to the
classroom and several times had to restrain "Doc's"
tongue. Riley found it necessary to reply to a lesser
number of parent complains.
Results. The school year was more
than half over, but the partitions were erected, and Lizzie at
last had a cubicle to herself. There were no more outburst
directed against students, teachers, and visitors. Through the
efforts of her considerate boss, Lizzie Bentley managed to
complete her forty-fifth year in education without interruption.
Results. The immediate problems
in boys' physical education began to work themselves out through
guidance and direction on the part of Mr. Keller. There
was still much animosity under the surface among the physical
education staff, but at least there was no overt manifestation
of it as before. At the end of the year, Tim Riley left to
go back to his college football staff. Howie Wolfson was
advised by Mr. Keller to seek employment elsewhere, and Herb
Douglas and Art Mundy returned to Riverside High School as
football and basketball coaches, respectively. Mr. Keller
made Douglas chairman of the Physical Education Department,
after discussing the matter fully with Mundy.
The Results. Mr. Green's
establishment continued to operate for two months at which time
it became necessary for the Mayor and Council to refuse the
permit for dancing. Parental pressure was concerted and
led to much other community pressure not to patronize the Green
Parrot. Before the school years was over the Green Parrot was
Results. Custodial personnel
continued to come and go, but the head custodian remained, as
did Mr. Winterly of the night crew. The majority of those
who left their custodial jobs gave as their reason "poor pay"
and not "poor working conditions".
Results. Bobby went his way
somewhat ashamed of his actions. His workbook money was
returned to Chuck, and Bobby was left to get his money
elsewhere. AFter two months, Bobby was put on other work
not connected with the cafeteria so that he could earn his hot
Results. Subsequent meetings of the
class were orderly. Miss Jackson had to force herself (by her
own admission) to send one young man from the class during an
examination for which he took a failing mark. Aside from
this incident, the self-discipline approach worked well in this
Results. There were few conferences
with Mr. Morgan in the future. Miss Blandford and Mr.
Michels handled as many department and individual teacher
conferences as possible and let Mr. Wilbur Franklin Morgan
occupy his time with less disturbing problems than human
Results. The superintendent
accepted Mr. Wright's resignation in June. "I'm returning to
industry," reported Mr. Wright, as Mr. Runnion sighed with
relief. The work-study program was temporarily suspended at
Manchester High. Those students who were sufficiently
interested in such a program were permitted to transfer to one
of several high schools in the school district where such a
course of instruction was being offered.
Results. Under the distracting
pressures of second semester activities the evaluation never
materialized. Many of the staff were completely unaware of
the unsavory conduct of students during the examination period.
Results. Mike and the other offenders on the Silverton team did not play against Bentonville that week, but they played the remainder of the season. The "girl friend" was only punished by remaining after school for several days. There were numerous accusations directed toward Mr. Gordon for discriminating in favor of a School Board Member's son, but none went past the vocal stage.
Mr. Gordon was happy to see Michael Day
graduate in June.
The counselor and the assistant principal sat in stiff uneasiness as Morgan continued, "The Superintendent wants him to go here until his trial comes up." MOrgan then reviewed the background at length for them.
"Now, he'll be here on Monday, and I want you to be prepared for him. He'll be in the Auto Mechanics group. (to the counselor) Call his school and get his record card and all other information you can on him.
"I think this boy needs a chance, and we should be willing to give it to him. I think we can help him. I know Mr. Hoover in the auto shop will do everything possible to help.
"No, I'm told he failed English III, etc., so he'll need some guidance on his schedule when you register him.
"I don't think we should involve his teachers with the background, do you?" The two staff members nodded agreement.
Results. Jack Fenton's stay at
Upper Dixon High proved to be uneventful. He went about
his business without disturbing anybody for about two
months. His crime was changed from a misdemeanor to a
felony and ultimately he was sent to the State Reformatory for
Boys for one year.
Mr. and Mrs. Lehman accompanied Ann to the office the following day and continued to challenge Mr. Charles in a belligerent manner. Eventually the bitterness was mollified to the point where some constructive suggestions could be made.
Results. Ann was returned to
class. The nurse wa informed of Ann's kidney problem.
After a fashion, Ann mended her severed connections with the
teachers involved. Nothing further was heard from the
Mrs. Rolfe was near collapse when notified of her daughter's deceitful behavior.
Results. Catherine Rolfe was
properly disciplined, according to school policy. A
conference, with Mr. Jefferson Mrs. Rolfe, and Catherine
present, was held, and it was observed that Catherine was
remorseful at her behavior and the anguish she had caused her
mother. There was no repetition of truancy throughout the
remainder of the year.
Results. Jack completed the withdrawal process that day and left school as he had entered earlier the same day: sullen, depressed, and feeling that everyone at school had it in for him.
Mr. Schwartz could not help feeling somewhat
frustrated. After all he had thought that he had done a
pretty good job of guiding Jack back into a better frame of mind
for continuing his school work, but his boss had stepped in and
undone everything in just a few moments.
Results. The first dance was held the
following Saturday evening, with Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs very much
in evidence, the latter more so than the former.
Everywhere, Mrs. Jacobs was "chaperoning". First, she tried to
talk the customary stags into asking the girls to dance as th
first number was playing. She promptly saw to it that the bright
overhead lights were turned on as though a basketball game were
in progress. Busy Mrs. Jacobs proceeded to select the
"proper" records amid disgusted looks from the turntable
operators. With records properly selected, lights blazing,
wall-flowerrs enthused (?), she announced a "Paul-Jones".
Students were observed slipping off to lavatories or outside the
gym, where the dance was being held. Only a handful participated
in the get-acquainted dance. Meanwhile, Student Government
President, Ruth Freed, sought out Mr. Patterson and implored,
"Sir, the dance is developing into a flop. Can you do something
to stop Mrs. Jacobs? She's ruining everything!"
Results. Betty never returned to
Jackson High. Her brother returned her books after
considerable prodding, and further reported that Betty was
working full time at the doctor's office and taking nigh classes
at a high school some fifteen miles from her home.
Results. Aunt Francie screamed loud enough for her rights so that the whole problem went before the superintendent. The latter was finally convinced by Aunt Francie to reverse Mr. Pearson's decision and return Frank to Brockton on further condition of compliance to regulations and satisfactory performance in subject matter.
Ultimately, Frank failed academically and was not passed on to the senior year at Brockton. His attendance continued to be sporadic, but Mr. Pearson felt that he had done his best as it was and saw no reason for pressing the issue with the superintendent.
Name: Richard Warren Seltzer, Sr.
Address at the time this was submitted (1957): 1234 Pinecrest Circle, Silver Spring, MD
Present address (January 2003): Thomas Wynne Apartments, Apt. 109, 200 Wynnewood Ave., Wynnewood, PA 19096
Place of birth: Washington, D.C.
Secondary education: Montgomery BLair Senior High School, June 1941.
Collegiate institutions attended:
Gettysburg College 1941-42
University of Maryland 1942-43 and 1946-48, A.B. 1948
University of Pennsylvania 1943-44, 1948-51, M.S. in Education 1951
Major: Educational Administration and Supervision.
Minor: Human Development.
"FTA -- Our Best source of Teacher Supply". Maryland Teacher. February 1957, pp. 16-17.
"An Intern Reports". The Bulletin, National Association of Secondary School Principals. 40: #220: May 1956, pp. 53-58.
Director of Field Services, Maryland State Teachers' Association, 5 E. REad Street, Baltimore 2, Maryland.
Vice-Principal, Wheaton High School, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Teacher, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, Maryland.
Teacher, Montgomery Hills Junior High School, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Teacher, Upper Darby Junior High School, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the
Graduate School of the University of Maryland in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Education, 1957. Approved April 12, 1957.
The patient guidance and cooperation of J.J. Tarallo has been a constant source of inspiration throughout the years of work involved in the preparation of this study.
Special thanks go to Dr. Clarence A. Newell, the writer's adviser, who patiently persevered through the period of the writer's doctoral preparation. Dr. Newell suggested the problem, and provided substantial help in the development of appropriate procedures and in making suggestions on the write-up. T. Dr. John J. Kurtz and Dr. Richard H. Byrne, also of the University of Maryland, go the writer's appreciation for their very considerable help throughout the development of the study.
Finally, a personal word of gratitude is extended to Helen Estes Seltzer, patient wife and stenographer, who typed and helped to edit this manuscript.
Peace -- a Model by Richard Warren Seltzer, Sr.
The Life and Times of Richard Warren Seltzer, Sr., born June 5, 1923 (autobiography)
The Golden Years: Memories in Times of Love and War
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