In teaching we have an absurd undertaking in which the job description and enforceable responsibilities -- as defined by the contract -- fall incredibly short of matching the reality. I haven't met the teacher who can bring about acceptable student progress by working to the contract. Moreover, all those things we need to do in order to see better results fall outside the scope of what can be required or expected. No one can make you grade homework. No one can make you provide support after school. No one can make you design the type of lessons that require extensive planning. No one can make you teach on Saturdays. The District can create time for collaboration, but no one can make you go.
No one can make you do any of the essential endeavors that lead toward being a quality educator. You have to do it because you care.
Caring is the mechanism that has replaced the formal requirements of competence that exist in nearly every profession, from law to roofing. In teaching, you are asked to do your damn job out of love, and not because you're a professional who's being paid to produce results. This makes for good copy, and allows us to weave compelling narratives about the glorious teacher-martyr, but it is a flimsy thing, unmeasurable and unreliable -- like so much of what we do.
This then, provides the foundational, ethical basis for working in a flawed system. But it is foundational only, and to suggest that the development of caring, or resistancy, or assest analysis is somehow complete in and of itself remains a drastically incomplete approach to making our schools better places.