There are lots of problems in education, big systemic problems, governance problems, structural problems that seem unsolvable sometimes because they’re so deeply rooted in the way things have always be done. And then there are problems that are so darn easy to fix, it’s a wonder they haven’t already been solved.
One of those easy problems is the tall poppy problem (or syndrome). If you’re not familiar with that expression, it’s one of those fabulously apt British turns of phrase (also popular in Australia). Wikipedia defines it as describing “aspects of a culture where people of high status are resented, attacked, cut down and/or criticised simply because they have been classified as superior to their peers.” While I’m not keen on the term “superior” in their definition, I’m sadly all too familiar with the problem itself; virtually every teacher I know who has moved into a leadership role, whether in their school or in their system has experienced it. When a poppy gets too tall, we cut it down to size.
“Wow, the superintendent is coming to your class again?!?”
“You’re sure out of the school a lot.”
“Why does she get to go to so many conferences?!?”...