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An Administrative Maxim (in Education)

September 14, 2021

An Administrative Maxim, for all levels of education (K – ∞): Never, ever, ever punish students for administrative mistakes and miscommunications. Fix the problem for the student(s), and then figure out what went wrong and how to correct the administrative component.

This maxim is not about viewing students as consumers, but rather because punishing them reinforces stereotypes about bureaucratic incompetence and uncaring bureaucrats.

Education administration exists not solely for the sake of policies, processes, lawyers, or same vague ideas about institutional integrity for its own sake, disconnected from people. Institutions are by and for people, so administrators should, in education, work to make all of those people as content as possible in the scope of the education Institution’s mission of teaching and learning. People must be valued first: students and teachers and staff, Then worry about the processes, policies, legalities, etc. If you take care of people, with sensitivity and fairness, putting students first, as humans in need of respect and dignity, without coddling them, then legalities will take care of themselves.

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