0084: Pardon me for being radical, but the system won’t fix itself
#edreform #revolution #education
I’ve had a few forced days of focus and meditation, an imposed hiatus from writing and working—a root canal and a break in sort of force the mind to silent places lest things really start to fall apart. During my respite I have spent some time reviewing what I have written over the past few months here at Educated to Death and have noticed a shift in my focus. I started writing this to, as I put it, “[maintain] sanity in a system that pushes students through…in little boxes.” I think I have managed to maintain sanity, but beyond that I think I have managed to redefine, for myself, my place in education.
I have become a participant in a conversation that reaches far beyond my classroom, and even education proper. I, with the help of a community, am beginning to better understand the role of education, schooling, and teachers within the constructs of a seemingly corrupt and inequitable system. Education is not the entire system, it is a small portion of a body of systems that seems to do little more than crush people beneath its feet. I am less silent than I was a few months ago. I am more connected. I am more aware of the truth than when I started this process, the truth that we all must participate beyond our day-to-day. I am that if change, revolutionary change, is going to occur, we, the people, must make it happen. We are, I am, more than teachers, we are people. If we sit idly by and let things happen to us and around us, then we are not victims, we are perpetrators of whatever injustice we allow to take place. I must be a conscious participant wherever I am.
As a teacher, I must teach. I must do everything in my power to ensure that they have the tools to think critically, and learn independently. This will undoubtedly come at a cost. Following orders, curriculum, teaching uncritically, is nothing more than neglecting eager minds. And if those minds are resistant because they have been closed due to training, boredom, and the lull of standardized testing, then
I must do what ever I can to wake up. We can no longer train zombies. Who will change the course of human history if not us? My readership is small, but I am not alone, and neither are you. Grow with me. Fight with me. We have to fix this ship before we all go down. If the reformers won’t, and they won’t, then we will.