Saturday, October 1, 2016

Teachers, Fairness, and Ideological Purism | The Patiently Impatient Teacher

Teachers, Fairness, and Ideological Purism | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:

Teachers, Fairness, and Ideological Purism 


Blogging and tweeting about education policy has led me to interact with a lot of people across a very broad ideological spectrum. I have found that across the ideological spectrum, the gulf between teachers and non-teachers in the world of education policy is especially wide. Teachers are eternally frustrated that they are left out of meaningful policy discussions. Policy folks are frustrated that often when they seek input they only get apathy, anger, and negativity in return…and still get accused of not listening even when they are under the impression that they tried to.
We simply don’t speak the same language.
The term compassion fatigue is often used in conversations about teachers (and nurses and other caregivers). Teachers also suffer from BS fatigue and plan old physical fatigue too. A nearby city explodes in anger over racial injustice. More of my most talented colleagues resign. A talented and hardworking student is deported back to the country where the people who committed the political assignation of her father have threatened her own life. A project which I have been working on for three years, with enormous potential to benefit students, is denied approval at the last minute. All of those events occurred in same day recently and it is still wasn’t the most frustrating or heartbreaking day I have had as teacher. As teachers tend to gaping wounds like these, we are subjected to being called selfish and self-interested and incompetent. We are called perpetuators of racism by those that choose to be blind to the fact that they are too.
And we scream, cry, and entertain our spouses with nonsensical monologues of rage. Then we quietly pack the left over anger and frustration up into neat little packages. We will do something to process that later, perhaps. As a teacher, when we say we feel attacked, the response is one of gas lighting. “Oh no, of course we love and support teachers…no one is bashing you!” “Of course we don’t mean all teachers, just those bad ones.” (Because it is good practice to destroy the morale of the 95% or more of teachers that we know are excellent to weed out those terrible 5%).
The gulf between teachers and non-teachers is not so much about ideology, but about Teachers, Fairness, and Ideological Purism | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:

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