I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block lately when it comes to this blog. I’ve also been doing a lot of soul searching when it comes to both my writing about education and my teaching career in general. I’ve been able to overcome the writer’s block a little–there are a couple of posts that will be forthcoming before I take a break until after the New Year (well, provided the Mayans aren’t right)–but I still find myself doing a lot of that soul searching, which I’m not sharing a lot of for a couple of reasons. One is that it’s very personal, another is that it’s nothing I am ready to share at the moment, and another is that I’ve found myself very angry at times.
Back at the end of October, I wrote a post, “Connected Educator Disconnect” wherein I expressed my frustration with how #edchat and the like have made me feel like I’m a bad teacher–it seems that everyone is setting the world on fire but me. I haven’t really been on #edchat since and have only done one or two tweetchats altogether (though part of that is due to being too busy), and have cut back on the number of articles and blog posts I have been reading as well. So I haven’t been wanting to post a lot of my thoughts because I’ve been quite frustrated and I didn’t think it was constructive for me to express my anger, especially since I didn’t feel like being eviscerated by certain bloggers if I dared expressed frustration with students.
Which I don’t, really. Oh yeah, there’s the standard-issue things that annoy me but this year, my classes have been all right. I’d rather not go off on administration, other teachers, or policy, because I’m trying to maintain some modicum of professionalism here, and that’s not what bugs me. What bugs me is that the same rhetoric I’ve been hearing for the better part of the last couple of years still persists and that’s what sends my blood pressure spiking when I’m reading my usual blogroll. Because the talking points never, ever, ever change: I’m a cog in a 19th-Century industrial model system that is abusing children, stealing dreams, and destroying the country. I don’t have a monopoly on knowledge. College is unecessary. There are many examples of students out there who go on their own and don’t need the system to succeed. Oh, and I make too much money and have too much time off.
Though I honestly dismiss the writer when those talking points come up, there is some truth here and there to what I read. I’m working in a system that is far, far, far from perfect and I am trying my best to enrich the 100 or so young minds I encounter on a daily basis and make them feel like they’re getting something out of my class. But then I read articles like “In New Castle, Pa., trying to outrun poverty,” which was in today’s Washington Post and I feel that things are put in perspective. Read the rest of this entry »