Take Orders, and Do the Job. That’s a Good Soldier.

...carrying the weight of others is commonplace.  No less grating.

…carrying the weight of others is commonplace. No less grating.

A teacher recently asserted, “We should all get T-shirts that say ‘security’ on them…since that’s all we do right now.” I like and respect that teacher, and feel that he is correct. Sadly though, not everyone is doing security, much less teaching.

In terms of stats, we have some fascinating ones. Two teachers quit before the first day of school. One teacher that was subbing for one of those positions was released. In the first two weeks, two other teachers have found other positions. Close to ten percent turnover, after three weeks of school. That’s huge.

On my team of teachers we have one teacher who never leaves her room, and never talks to others. Classroom management in that room is so far gone that we are assigning a pool teacher to stand in there with her…for discipline purposes. Fights happen regularly, which is not a normal outgrowth until week eight.

On my floor, things are quiet. Things are peaceful, my co teacher and I maintain order as we always do. During lunch, I often run my soccer league, providing a useful, supervised outlet for energy. Still, as things continue onward…we find ourselves carrying the weight of others who don’t maintain order, or don’t really deliver content. In a school, those kinds of habits spill from one class, from one period, to another. If a teacher screws up, or doesn’t maintain order, or doesn’t teach content…those ideas, habits, and concepts move with the group of students to their next teacher, their next period.

This year, my co teacher and I are not being evaluated. That’s in part due to the contract, and in part due to a deal that I cut with Pledge LA. It was an easy deal, since there are 53 teachers being evaluated this year, and the process is paperwork intensive. Still, most important to that process is what’s in the art. It doesn’t matter if I like the Darths, or hate them. It doesn’t matter who is on my team. That’s the job, and I’ve done it for sixteen years. Bosses come and go, but the basic premise, the purpose is the same.

So right now, amidst all of the scuttlebutt, the rumors of what went before, I suck it up and do the job. I do the job well, and take up the slack for people that I barely know, and in some cases, don’t even like very much. Because that’s what a good solider does…keeps their eye on the objective, and does what they have to to achieve it. Sometimes, it sucks.

That’s what the art is about. Our hero is once again in an off the shelf, generic War Machine suit, in the midst of a mission that makes no sense. She’s hauling along one person given the same out of date equipment, and another that doesn’t even have that. Importantly, without comment, she cuts loose the unequipped tool midway through, without saying a thing. The other person in a similar suit is speaking about why our hero is still around.

The discussion here is like the discussion that currently surrounds me. I’m well known as a figure of controversy, a person that is willing to oppose the Darths. I’m known for my arguments, for the amount that I try to hold those above me accountable. This year, I’m only doing what I ultimately did last year…coming in, and doing the job. Doing it well, without argument. Idiots around me use the word “professionalism” to mean politeness or other crud, and to me…it means what it means. I’m being paid to do my job, and follow the directives I’m given. Even when those directives are wrong, I stand up to do that job. That’s what “professional” means.

That’s what the art is about. I have some meetings coming up, where I’m going to be expected to carry the weight of these other people. Not my job. Technically, that’s the business here. I need to continuously keep focused on the kids that needs me, and let the adults that need help fall to the people that are supposed to support them.

Next Issue: Patience!


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