Charge the Common Ground.
I’ve had the weekend to consider how things have begun to come down. It was pretty satisfying to stand up in a public forum for things that are right. A board member, who once called me a superhero in public session, said about me the other night that I personified courage. It would have been hard to hear if I hadn’t decided to step in hard on the things going wrong at my school the same day. It would have been terrible in fact.
As I write this, I’m listening to “Hold On,” by Yes. The lyrics are pretty key to the situation:
Justice to the left of you
Justice to the right
Speak when you are spoken to
Don’t pretend you’re right.
Our Darth is getting pretty tired of audience particpation and free speech, doing his best to curtail our feedback and/or opinions. When we can send professional correspondence via e-mail has been criticized, the open door policy has become more of a closed door policy, and more often then not, communication to even the upper echelons of the school are limited. Pretty typical evil Emperor lockdown…all that’s missing is a secure bunker. It’s mostly about one person wanting to hear everyone like his ideas, and like him personally.
I’d be sad for him if I didn’t feel so angry.
The Rollout of the iPads are coming. Tuesday will be the key day for explaining how this will take place, although I have a sneak [review of many, if not all, of the policies. It is a monument to poor planning and the hope that improvisation will somehow carry the day. I look at the amount of instructional time that will be lost to it, and I am just depressed.
Or I would be, if it didn’t give more fuel to my own campaign of push back. The health and safety issue is key, and apparently will be addressed in a public forum. After that ball started rolling, many teachers stepped in with their own concerns, and things started to move. The rebellion isn’t just Luke Skywalker, the Princess and Han, you know. You need Wedge, Biggs and Porkins.
My likeness has been removed from Pledge LA’s social media, and they are very much complying with those directives. So that suggests the whole “discriminatory work environment” platform is moving forward, and that the First Amendment might actually be able to thrive and live in South Los Angeles. We will see about that.
The point of the post though, and the art, is pretty simple. It’s time, long past time…to get together, as a group…of teachers and students, with the things that motivate us, and empower us. To take those things, and even under the watchful of Darths, wherever they may be…stand up for what’s right. It’s key to the process in a way that I only see now that i have come back into that world, of standing up for something, and having it entail risk.
How is it key to the process? Simple: we tell kids to stand up for the right thing, to not succumb to peer pressure, all the time. ALL the time. Teachers tell kids that when they see something wrong, they should tell an adult….and that they should do the right thing, even when it’s hard. Even when it doesn’t feel very good, or makes you feel scared.
I say these things all the time. Most teachers do.
You can’t just say them. You need to LIVE them. When you say it to a kid, it has to be because in the adult world, you will do the same. You won’t sit back out of fear of job security, or retaliation, or people thinking badly of you. In my opinion, if we are going to say these things to our young people, to be a role model…then we have to be that role model.
Even though it takes courage, and I was actually afraid to start this process…I am uplifted now that it has begun. I feel that much better about being the figure that young people think I am. That’s pretty much what the art is about. If I need to be able to help a kid stand up to a bully, with their words, writing, and courage…then I can do the same with a principal and a managing company. Although usually, I get to stand right next to the young person…
Honestly…they do think that we are some kind of superheroes.