Last week, I took a five-day social media break for the express purpose of re-centering myself, my family, and my work in ways that the Internet does not allow. That’s the public answer. The more private answer is complicated, but unsurprising to anyone who’s tried to fill multiple jars to full capacity at the same time with the same vigor. At EduCon in Philadelphia, I had no less than five people come up to me asking me for time and energy without recompense. As if I should do someone else’s work for free just because I do my own work on my own time for free. My son had a recurring and debilitating flu. I eventually caught it too. So did Luz. I had speeches and articles due. The squeakiest wheel gets the grease, but if you’re not, err, if I’m not a wheel that’s built to squeak, then I keep rolling.
Oh right. And I teach. Full time. 145 students, each and collectively with needs far greater than my capacity.
Ask me the first time how school is going and I’ll tell you that it’s fine. Ask me the second time and I’ll tell you that I could complain, but I choose not to. Ask me the third time and I’ll enumerate the ways I’m struggling to comprehend the ways our school system fails us. The number of ways we inhumanely standardize curricula, lessons, assessments, schedules, and our students. The plethora of times that well-meaning adults can get wound up and wound down by the ever-tightening crank of structures we have no control over. The disparaging comments from dissidents who play like they care about my kids, but vote against their humanity on a dark November day.