Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Year, One Job Later

Well (she sheepishly admits), it's been over a year since my last post. I was laid off of my last teaching job - no more Guardians of the World for me! - and to be honest didn't have the energy or will to update the blog. Before I go on, I should say that after seven months of unemployment, I was fortunate to land another job teaching high school English. By the way, 700 people applied for the job. Yes, 700. More on that. My new job is in a very different district, quite poor, two thirds white and one third African American. More on this too--many juicy stories, no fear.

But in the interim between my last post and now, the witchhunt against teachers has risen to fever pitch. Corporatists, politicians of both stripes, and their paid mouthpieces - the media - have been unanimous in trashing teachers. It's bizarre. You pick up the paper, you listen to Oprah, you turn on the TV, you listen to the radio, you go to the movies--and it's like one person is saying the same thing over and over and over. And very orchestrated at that. The narrative is simple:

Waiting For Millionaires

Our schools are bad. This is because of Bad Teachers. Our students would be learning, but bad deadwood teachers don't get off their lazy asses and can't get fired because of big bad lazy evil unions. Unionized teachers are lazy spoiled shits who are running our schools into the ground and the union makes them lazier and shittier. Women used to go into teaching because they had no choice, but now we're getting the dregs--just dumb blue collar non-Ivy-educated women. But charter schools are Good. Why? Because they are. They have no big bad evil unions. They have Young Enthusiastic Low-Paid Easily Duped worker-slaves, um, teachers. They are Good because they are run by private businessmen who, as everyone knows from Wall Street, are efficient, caring, and motivated by excellence. Cut to: random anecdote which shows how great charter schools are.

To anyone with any knowledge of actual public schools - rather than the fantasy served up in Hollywood or their childhood memories - these attacks are transparently the act of a powerful handful of mega-wealthy people who want to privatize our schools in order to turn a profit. That's it. If you keep that in mind, everything they say makes sense. These people will stick their blood funnels into anything that smells like money and with schools, they see a lot of untapped blood. They are vampires and sharks. They smell money and they want it.

So one day they turned their eye on public schools and saith unto themselves, "Gosh, that's an awful lot of government money spent on something without anybody getting rich off it." Why can't schools be more like, you know, the military? Now THAT'S a great corporate/government alliance!

This blog will NOT be a feel-good, let's-help-other-teachers-be-great blog. This blog will be a polemic, a political statement, and a reality check. I am the voice inside the doors. I am a living 'dead wood. I am a 'warm body' schools are supposedly so desperate to give tenure to.

From behind closed doors, I am the Voice of Teachers.

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