“Professionals” Use Indoor Voices…and Hair Product.
The “Restorative Justice” program of counseling students to resolve conflicts in order to prevent suspension is being used on my campus. District wide, it is a thing. Tomorrow’s post is going to be more in depth about it, but today’s deals with the adult side effects of it.
Last week, I was dealing with a group of adults on campus who could apparently not successfully read a lunchtime supervision schedule. Far be it for me to claim that they should have seem me as present on that schedule, with a student activity. No…that would be asking for someone, an adult, to look for information that didn’t directly influence them…and that’s just crazy talk. The real kicker is that none of the people arguing with me were at their actual supervision posts…meaning they didn’t read what THEY were supposed to do.
Eventually, one of the Darths came by…all black designer clothes, with a black knit tie and a megaphone. He green lit the activity, while simultaneously criticizing my “tone”, and the “loudness of my voice.” This is what the word “professional” has come to mean. Forget that I’m agitated about not being able to run an activity for about thirty kids…if we ever actually display an emotion, or care too much about what we are doing, we have broken the bizarre Stepford Wife mold that is now pervading not only my campus, but teaching.
We in fact had more than one conversation about my “tone” over the ensuing two days. All of them related to this one incident. I pointed out that I have addressed the school board with a considerably harsher tone, and harder words, and they seemed to think I was the consummate professional. I also expressed that people who care about the quality of their work might on occasion speak stridently about it, and this was not to be considered a Bad Thing. I was advised that in “transforming” our campus, we were supposed to be positive.
So…I should lie a whole lot, and be false, when things are being done poorly? I think not.
Without going into detail…this matter was easily, and handily settled. Ironically settled while somehow preserving the more positive, “kinder, gentler” tone I have tried to put forth this year, at least to most people. One of the Darths might see it a different way…I’m not sure. Who can tell what emotionless robots that spout only buzzwords really think?
That is pretty much what the amazingly satisfying art above was about. It’s about speaking your mind, and standing up for your own diversity, and your kids’ activities. You know, the kind of thing school is all about.
Next Issue: Enter…the Talking Circle!