Administrative Power

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.



4 thoughts on “Administrative Power”

  1. I am thoroughly enjoying my first year of CI/TPRS implementation. Every day I come to work so energized to talk WITH my students. I have seen amazing results in this first quarter of school. Unfortunately, there was a complaint made to my principal from a colleague that I am not using the state adopted and district approved textbook. I had no idea this concern was out there. Now I feel completely deflated that my principal was concerned enough to talk to me about this. He doesn’t know Spanish and wouldn’t know how to gauge lesson effectiveness he he were to observe. But the seed was planted in his brain that I am not using what was adopted by the state and approved by the district. Suggestions?

  2. Regulations vary from state to state, but one of the overarching principles of education is that the teacher is in charge of and responsible for student learning. With that responsibility comes freedom. The state and district can tell you what you must teach, but they cannot tell you how you must teach.

    Double check your state and district policies, but I am overwhelmingly confident that neither your state nor your district has a policy stating that you must teach from the textbook. In fact, teaching from the textbook is neither a “Best Practice” nor “Core / High Leverage Teaching Practice”. Discussions of teaching consistently emphasize that the textbook is simply one resource among many. It is part of the teacher’s discretion as to how much, if any, use she makes of the textbook.

    Textbooks are created to present material demanded by states and districts throughout the US, and the needs of those states and districts vary tremendously. An urban school district with a large number of inner-city students does not need the same materials as a suburban district with a large number of affluent students does not need the same materials as a rural district with farm kids. Yet, the textbooks try to include materials that will “appeal” to all of those demographics while recognizing that not all of the material will meet the needs of all of the groups. Textbook representatives should admit this if they are being honest.

    You are the professional educator who knows your local situation and student population. You have the professional expertise and personal knowledge of your situation to determine what is best for your students in your local situation. No textbook designed to be acceptable to 50 states plus the District of Columbia could possibly match that. Thus, you – not the textbook company – are alone qualified to determine what materials, strategies, and practices will be most effective in your instructional setting. I maintain that by its very nature, a textbook is the least personal resource you can have: it is undifferentiated because it presents all of the material to all of the students; it is impersonal because it does not know the interests and needs of individual students, postulating instead a mythical “typical” or “average” student; it is onerous but not rigorous because its scope and sequence presents far too much material in a typical year level without allowing for depth and integrity of inquiry, suspension of premature conclusions (the grammar rules give you the conclusions at the outset), or constant testing of hypotheses.

    A standard reaction from textbook companies to the overwhelming volume of material is that the teacher is supposed to choose what materials and portions of the book are best suited to the particular situation. They have just admitted that you are the professional, so you can maintain that your are simply exercising your professional responsibility. BTW, do the textbook teachers teach every single item in the textbook? If they leave anything at all out, then they are doing precisely what you are doing, that is, not using the textbook. The only difference is how much of the textbook they are not using, a difference of quantity, not of kind.

    If you must give a sop to your administrator, take the position that the grammar material is available in the textbook for those students who wish to read it. You *might* even go so far as to tell students from time to time, “If you want to read more about this, look in the textbook on pages ….”

    Adopted and approved does not mean mandated. Not adopted and not approved does not mean banned. Don’t let them bully you.

    Here are links to some articles abut textbooks: – the problem with textbooks – “The less I use the textbook, the more [my students] learn” (and isn’t that what teaching is supposed to be about, student learning?) – this will download a pdf automatically. Key statement: “adoption states – choose at the state level what textbooks can be used by all districts.” Note the wording: CAN be used, not must be used. Of course districts then will ask, “The why did we spend all that money on textbooks, if you aren’t using them?” Your reply: “Good question. Why did you spend all that money on textbooks? There are better uses for those funds.” (Try not to be too snarky.)

    BTW, 30 states leave the choosing of textbooks entirely up to the districts. 20 states, including California and Texas (the proverbial 800-pound gorillas in American education), adopt textbooks at the state level, although California has statewide adoption only at the elementary level while allowing districts at the secondary level to choose their own textbooks.

    Okay, enough rant for now.

    1. Wow. That was an awesome response. Thank you! I have seen this topic come up before but I never paid attention to the discussion because at that point this problem hadn’t yet come up. But when the administrator confronted me with this, it threw me off track and I wished I had paid attention earlier to these discussions. Thank you for your input!!!

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso Valutazione 4.6 sulla base di 352 voti. Nome del prodotto: Stendra Super Force Categoria: Disfunzione Erettile Nome commerciale: Extra Super

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben