0041: An Educator’s Guide: Learning to consume together! (Hey, what about creating together?)
#teaching #edchat #rebellion #consumer
Each day students awaken from their sweet dreams in their rich and peaceful 3 car garage homes in white neighborhoods and come to schools where their reveries can continue. Because of their natural privilege they are allowed to enter classrooms that have a marvelous curriculum of consumption. Fortunate students are blessed to “sit-and-get” knowledge each day that will allow them to perform well on their standardized tests. These standardized tests allow them to be given numeric values as human beings. Note: there is nothing more humanizing than a numeric value. These numeric values allow them to be properly sorted for better processing. It helps the schools decide how much remediation material to purchase. Luckily, almost everyone needs remediation materials of some sort. Numbered people need remediation. Usually these remedial people have strange behavior patterns that must be managed. They often squirm around and try to force their teacher-depositor to chase rabbits. The chasing of rabbits is strictly prohibited, as it distracts from what is truly important. If these remedial humans continue to chase rabbits, they can be remediated with medication. Then they will no long distract from what is important. Sometimes the teachers need remediation, especially if they insist on wasting time with discussing and reteaching material that was already consumed at its determined time on the pacing guide. These teachers usually learn to behave with a simple reprimand, but many of them need to be put on improvement plans. We must accept that the curriculum is designed and scheduled by someone who is an absolute expert. They specialize in curriculum mapping. They know the curriculum. That’s their only job. They don’t have time to waste with students and pesky misbehaving teachers. Sometimes, too, principals try to interfere with the process of organizing the numbered individuals, by defending certain practices that rebellious teachers implement. These rogue principals can usually be reprimanded, or relocated, or terminated. So, there’s no need to worry there.
It’s of the utmost importance that we as educator-depositors remember to avoid collaboration and discussion with our peers. We have consumers to groom. We must model, by properly swallowing each pill we are given. Lead by example, they say. And, we shall! Be a leader. Lead by following. We have consumers to groom.
Finally, we must remember that the task of creation should always go to someone else. This could also be said for collaboration. Education should not concern itself with creation or collaboration. Consumption is the goal. Otherwise, our economy will fail and we will have to rely on one another. How awful.
0040: Experienced Teachers, Used or Abused? Share your story
#edchat #teaching #abuse
I spend as much time as I can talking to teachers about there experiences. I’m a firm believer in the power of discourse for transformation. Sometimes the transformation is personal and sometimes it leads to systemic change. Either way, teachers must tell their stories, even if it’s to a journal or a friend.
I’ve grown increasingly concerned by my conversations with experienced teachers over the years. These teachers are full of excellent experience. They know the schools where the teach. They know the communities. Some of them have taught several generations within the community. These teachers have seen principals and policies come and go. Many of them started teaching when teachers pulled around $6000 a year. These are the tried and the true, the gluttons for punishment. They come back year after year. But, I’m not seeing them treated as the master teachers they are. I’m actually starting to see many of them really start to question why they are coming back. These experienced teachers in many places are being abused. I don’t have a statistic, but I’m running into more highly qualified, 25+ years experienced teachers being slapped with impossible improvement plans, and having excessive classroom observations that result in non-constructive criticism of their practice. For many teachers, classrooms are overcrowded and support doesn’t come when needed. Don’t get me wrong, some teachers are tired and burnt out and should retire. And, there are some teachers who don’t do there jobs. Some of them. But, there are so many who are truly professional teachers with advanced degrees, sticking it out in poor schools because they believe every child has a right to a quality education.
My practice has been made better by these “burnt out and beat up” teachers. So why are they being abused? Are they just ineffective old people? Not at all. It seems, and I may be wrong, that these teachers cost too much to employ. It’s an economic decision. I’ve heard it from the mouth a superintendent that you could hire 2 new teachers for the price of an old one. And this is true. But, is it worth throwing the experience away? Is it worth destroying a quality teacher? Money is tight in districts, but don’t abuse your greatest resources. If you’re an abused and disenfranchised teacher, young, old, or in between please share your story.
Anonymity is important. And confidence is priceless. But, silence is deadly. Please share your story with me— here or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t be silent. Teachers should be valued.
0031: If you can’t reach ‘em, drug ‘em. I guess.
I just finished carefully filling out a form that had the insignias of the America Academy of Pediatrics (dedicated to the health of all children), the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality, and McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals— two health organizations and one corporation, good benevolent companies with children’s interest at heart. The goal, I’m assuming is to issue drugs to tame this rambunctious young black child. He is a handful, but drugging a child just doesn’t seem helpful. Perhaps, a behavioral intervention or some adjustment to the way he is being taught. I’ve made a few adjustments and seen improvements. He’s a genius of a kid, just not really interested in complying. And whose to say he should comply? He disrupts during whole group activity. He has energy. When he writes it’s clever and amazing. His writing is a little off color, a little blue. He has an adult sense of humor. But the syntax is amazing. He struggles in all of his classes, but should we drug him? Or, are we just too cheap and lazy to do anything else? I am not without blame. I haven’t learned to manage his behavior. I have neither forced him into compliance or broken his spirit. He is one of the few and proud who is refusing to be schooled. I admire his wit and commitment to doing what he sees fit. He questions absolutely everything. And yes he becomes inappropriate. But, he deserves a proper education. He is not “driven by a motor”. He is driven by his mind and his choices. They do not align with the state curriculum, but they are his.
He struggles in most of his classes. Maybe he struggles against them. I’ve encountered kids like this over the course of my career. Sometimes they make it; sometimes they’re made into victims. I hope my non-referral keeps him corporate-drug-free. I hope the system that serves him adjusts to him. Unfortunately, systems wants perfect sprockets that fit on their machines. If you can’t reach ‘em drug ‘em. I guess.