Spoiled Cliches and Shallow Metaphors

Jose VilsonEducation

Nintendo Sneakers

Here’s a metaphor I heard during our fabulous faculty professional development:

No matter the type of shoe, they all get laced the same way.

And it was used in the context of our children’s learning. I laughed a little after I woke up from my coma. It didn’t come from our principal, so thank goodness for that. If I understand what the presenter’s trying to convey by this, not only is this completely contradictory to the ideas of differentiation that we’ve been inundated with for the last couple of years, it’s also another hint as to how the Bloomklein administration perceives many of our children. Let’s extend the metaphor a bit.

Not all shoes are the same. Some are made for running, high jumping, basketball, football, soccer, walking around, chillin’ on a Saturday, teaching, doing some dirty work, working out, and just lookin’ fly. And since we’re on the subject, there are 33 different ways of lacing up shoes, along with a variety of laces to choose from, depending on style, appropriateness, and affordability. Already, we have a few things to take into consideration. Then, even if we laced them up all the same way, we’re not even sure if the knot will stay on long enough for the person wearing the shoe. Some need a double knot while others need those knot clips. Some others need to have their lace tips mended, others still need to be washed after a long week, and then there’s that section of shoes that don’t even have laces and just need to be slipped on, though they’re the minority (no pun intended whatsoever).

Come to think of it, teachers aren’t just the shoe lacers. We’re often part of the long line of shoe makers, adjusters, and inspectors these shoes go through. Even if Bloomklein would prefer to have 90% of our shoe company make black boots (perfect for manual labor), we as teachers have to do our best that we understand the diversity in the brand of shoes we make. Our customers depend highly on our product, and only until we learn how to do our best when we run it through our inspections will we make a good shoe.

Then again, I wouldn’t necessarily call my students a shoe per se, since they aren’t to be worn. Then again, I don’t go to some educational administration school where they give me talking points to push onto my teachers in a professional development. Quotes from random people don’t impress me; action does. When we use quotes, we should invoke the spirit of the quote, and substantiate them with our actions. Otherwise, they’re just hollow words.

I’m a simple teacher, and my business is strictly in the classroom, so maybe I’m wrong. Then again, since I’m on my feet all day anyways, I might know a few things about what’s on my size 13s …

jose, who wants to give a shout-out to one of the best photographers on Earth as far as I’m concerned, and a group of women doing some sassy things