The Obscenity of Teaching in These Times
**I am beyond angry. Beware strong language ahead.**
It feels like the world is crumbling around us. Our state remains without a budget-the longest period of time any state has ever gone without one-causing serious defunding of vital social services and added stress to every working person in Illinois. Our city seems to be devolving into chaos: lack of services coupled with spikes in violence. There are threats of our entire school system closing down. Whole neighborhoods seem one spark away from mass popular explosion.
And in the middle of this disgusting manufactured mess, people continue to try to go about their lives. But as a teacher, the cruelty of current education policy seems all the more obscene.
The neighborhood where I teach on the far south side of Chicago, is one of the neighborhoods most impacted by the mayhem. We have had a number of incidents of violence in the direct vicinity of the school including nearby shootings that forced our school to go into lockdown. There have been graffiti incidents on school property. As the longest school year winds down, behavior issues in the school worsen.
And in the middle of all this, we are forced to disrupt our students' lives even further with obscenely inappropriate testing.
Yesterday, the juxtaposition of the trauma both inside and outside the school came to a head. I spent the whole morning administering the mandatory district-wide assessment, an Ms. Katie's Ramblings: The Obscenity of Teaching in These Times: