Conversations In This Teacher’s Head, Nevermore

Jose VilsonEducation, Jose

Black Spiderman vs. Spiderman vs. Venom

Black Spiderman vs. Spiderman vs. Venom

I can’t get no sleep. I know that’s not grammatically correct, but forget all that. It just sounds appropriate. Unless it’s the weekend, I feel like I pop up awake and already thinking on the millions of things I need to do for school that morning. It feels like I never have enough time, space, support, … anything really. When I get to that point, that just means I need to talk to other educators about my dilemmas with another educator. Tonight, that educator is in my head.

Me 1: Shut up!

Me 2: No, you shut up!

Me 1: I’m tired of this crap you always pull trying to calm me down. We need a revolution from the ground up! This is ridiculous!

Me 2: No, we need to play the game from the inside, work the angles, and hope for the best. If not, we need to teach the future about what’s wrong and hope they can fix it.

Me 1: I’m sorry, but do you really believe in this after-life business? In education? When people like Klein, Rhee, and Gates are trying to deunionize us, stripping us of the small things we have like seniority and tenure?

Me 2: So you’re saying all those teachers you don’t really care for should stick with us, who actually care a bit for the kids and their education? We shouldn’t get paid a little more for our work, knowing that we have other teachers in our union who don’t do a lick of work? Must be nice running off copies of worksheets and showing movies all day and calling it following the standards!

Me 1: First off, you KNOW if anyone wanted to truly get rid of any teacher, they could, despite whether or not they have tenure, at least that’s what I was told. Secondly, do we ever look at the whole school? Do we have enough support for every teacher, like when they complain about what goes on in the classroom and when he or she says something, they’re either called a whiner or they get ignored? Why even have any administrators if they’re just gonna sit on their striped suitpants and do a whole lot of nothing?

Me 2: Fair, but YOU know that this school system makes this sort of bureaucracy so the “powers that be” are never held accountable, even when they keep yelling out stuff about accountability. They’ve put principals and thus assistant principals under enormous pressures to improve their schools and use data to prove it, rather than provide actual equity within the schools so it’s not the same schools having the same successes.

Me 1: I could give a shit about data and any of that. How do we get kids motivated in learning the subject matter? How do we inspire them? Where are they taking all this madness?

Me 2: Frankly, that’s not up to you. It’s up to the child. We can work on some things, but we can’t be considered professional teachers if we’re not focused on results, more than anything.

Me 1: More of that crap! With all the money we’re wasting on data and the time we’re wasting on data tracking and testing and standardized assessments, I wonder when we’ll actually get the time to teach.

Me 2: Wait, I teach? Ha. All I know is, maybe the problem is bigger than you, bro, and you need to just control what you can. I’m sure time will tell all, right?

Me 1: Nevermore.

Jose, who needs Christmas Break for the both of me …

p.s. – I wonder what Arne Duncan might say to this.