Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Call to Action from a Badass Teacher

At some point something has to give, something has to break inside every one of us. At what point are you ready to say that it's time to either sit behind your computer screen and whine about a problem that you claim to be horrified by (or worse, ignore it all together hoping it will go away) or finally get up out of your seat, feel the surge of justified ire and a need to go take solid and well-planned action against serious wrongs fill your veins? At what point do you decide to stop being a meek, uneasy sheep who is afraid of what might happen as a result of your disagreement with what is and rise to the occasion as a duty to your high standards? At what juncture do you decide to make your mind, abilities and life count for something more than the status quo or simply "good enough" for your kids, familial and classroom? What is your threshold of tolerance for blatant wrongdoing? Sometimes, some days, you MUST ask yourself those questions...
As an educator, a parent and a human being, I find myself asking those questions more and more, each day that crawls by. YES, I fear losing my job because I am becoming more and more outspoken about the horrendous and vile things that are being done to my profession by those who seek to profit from it. YES, I am enraged by what I hear and see here in print and via shared articles each day. And at times, I too can be that meek sheep. It's easy to do. It's easy to sit back and hope that someone else will handle the situation for you. We've all been there; it's a very human thing to do. But as educated people who all obviously and wholeheartedly share the fears and the outrages of the current direction we find ourselves being tugged in, we have an ultimate responsibility to RISE ABOVE the fear and DO SOMETHING. Perhaps not all of us are speakers, or organizers or as daring as the next in taking risks to get a point across or information shared, but we can all do SOMETHING to fight back. We can leave behind opt-out info and information about data mining at public libraries and supermarkets for parents to find. We can leave a BATs business card on a community bulletin board. We can DO a daily action. We CAN. ALL OF US. There are 52,000 of us here and the number grows daily. That, folks, is a small army. But only if the entire army is willing to do its part to fight to the best of its ability and not leave the generals floundering without troops. If we don't all do our parts, and if we ALL don't start to feel and act upon the rage towards what's going on, and we ALL decide that it's just too hard to sign petitions or send tweets or take care of a simple activist action day to day, then soon enough we won't HAVE the ability or the RIGHT to speak up or fight. It's not a mirage or a dream. It's a very REAL possibility. We stand at a cusp here, and we can make the difference between a beautiful, thoughtful future or a bleak dystopian data-driven nightmare straight out of "1984."
It's all very well and good to gripe and vent and put up articles that we find. I find them as informative as the next person, and I certainly do my fair share of griping and venting; but go beyond that and ponder on what YOU need to do to rip yourself out of that blase meek sheep's skin and come out ripping and roaring your true inner lion through ACTION. These data jackals and stuffed-shirt capitalist demon-dogs are playing for keeps. If we don't resist as lions, we'll simply wind up as lamb-chops for the vultures to pick apart. Let's make this happen, brothers and sisters in the cause. Let's stop bleating and start roaring! What say ye?

(I'll remind you that this post was NOT meant to offend. We have many steadfast and dynamic risk-takers and leaders here, each in their own way and on their own levels of ability and comfort. I reach out to those thousands who silently belong to the group and yet who may sit at the sidelines wondering if they SHOULD get involved. My answer is an emphatic YES. Leap out of that shadowy den and get your long razor-sharp claws out. Make a difference and make your abilities and knowledge count for something as important as saving education from the braying hyenas who are circling it with teeth bared. Some meat to chew on this weekend. Solidarity and a good evening to you all!)

Posted anonymously Sept 19, 2014 

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