This piece, written by the principal of the Toronto Hebrew Academy, has been floating around the internet/blogosphere lately, and given its (sadly) timeliness and the fact that it’s one of the more productive things I’ve seen on the whole subject of gurus and power, I couldn’t not repost.
The Charismatic Teacher
by Paul Shaviv
The charismatic teacher (the ‘Pied-Piper”) is one of the most difficult
situations for a Principal to deal with. A charismatic teacher will
deeply affect and influence some students – but will almost always
leave a trail of emotional wreckage in is/her wake .
Charismatic teachers are often themselves deeply immature, but their
immaturity is emotional, not intellectual, and it is not always
obvious. They can be brilliant in inspiring students to go beyond their
wildest expectations, and are often regarded (by their following of
students, by parents, and by the Board or the community) as the ‘most
important’ or ‘best’ members of staff. There is always, however, a
price to be paid.