Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Educators 4 Actually Being Educators

Oh, those crazy kids Evan Stone and Sydney Harris! Remember them? Well, it's a brand-new school year and they're back. Thank heavens for that. I definitely need two lesser-experienced teachers who aren't even in the classroom anymore telling me more about the evils of tenure and seniority.

What? They're not in the classroom anymore? You read that right. They're not in the classroom anymore. They've taken some time off to do some consulting and work on their "grassroots" nonprofit, Educators 4 Excellence, which is not in any way connected to any larger force despite evidence to the contrary. Since they've been on the job all of three years, they're not eligible for sabbaticals. They appear to be in robust, apple-cheeked good health. This leads me to believe that they resigned from the DOE, unless someone more versed than I in all of the vagaries of the DOE can provide alternative possibilities.

I'm not sure exactly what size reproductive organs it takes to pull a stunt like this. How on Earth can you profess to care so much about the future of your students, so much that you would voluntarily leave the classroom? I mean, I know people quit all the time, sometimes for very good reasons. But those people tend not to be the same ones pulling for less job protection for their colleagues while at the same time going on and on about the preciousness of children's futures.

Maybe I'll start my own organization. It'll be called Educators 4 Actually Being Educators. Our goals will include not quitting the job we profess to love so much to be consultants.

My tender (really) heart doesn't want to be too hard on them, for all that. Believe me, there was an earlier mental version of this post that wasn't fit for a family audience. But any grudging respect I might have had for them, as folks trying to be politically active (in their way) while managing the challenges of full-time teaching even if I disagreed with their position and methods, is pretty much gone.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news while we're all still in the honeymoon period with our new classes. And I thought about telling you all a very charming story about one of my new students who is the proud papa of a ferret and can't stop talking about it. So maybe we'll have that story later this week or over at my place. But I had to get that off my chest. I was shocked, and maybe even a little saddened, and maybe even a little disappointed.

But I guess, ultimately, I'm not really surprised.
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