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Off the Grid And Punching the Clock

October 11, 2010

The more I hear and see about what is happening to education in Los Angeles and across the nation, the more I feel relief that teaching has become just a job for me. I sign in and out- the kids punch in and out- they’re on probation and on contracts- I put in my time and I leave. And it’s a relief. I don’t have to invest any emotion, much time or intellect into this job. I show up, I try to get the kids to work, and I leave.

There is no Back to School Night and few meetings. I don’t have to worry about the next superintendent showing up on our tiny campus -hell we don’t even have the security we desperately need. Yet we are good for the district because we bring in double ADA from 5th to 6th period, In return the district provides no services to our students- who desperately need it, but we get no scrutiny either. This district thrives on mediocrity and I have descended to that level, not entirely by my own choice. I used to come home from working at Fremont and I kept working. I don’t have to do that anymore. When I get home, I’m just- home. And it’s not half bad.

But is this really what I should be doing as a teacher- is it what I envisioned? Is it really in the best interest of students? No, but for some reason, I just can’t care anymore. When I saw the same student not once, but twice sell drugs to an already high fellow student and informed an administrator and was told, “That doesn’t surprise me, that’s our population” – that’s when I realized teaching was now going to be just a job for me, and that the Cultural Revolution against teachers is in full swing. Reconstitution, furloughs, payroll debacles, value added, the “cover your ass” mentality by administrators at Miramonte over Mr. Rueles suicide- it’s here. The “ethnic cleansing” of the teaching profession has begun.

Who will survive the initial purge of America’s War Against Teachers? Those who know how to play the game. Those who project a pseudo- professional or meek-like persona and talk about “teaching the standards.” Those who abandoned teachers who spoke out against reconstitution with responses that curried favor with administrators. They will survive- for now. Until they become “too veteran” for the profession, or “too weak” for Mr. Deasy. Maybe then and only then will they realize that “living to fight another day” was one day too late – that by choosing to do nothing, they helped sell out teaching as a profession to temporarily save their own skins

For now, I can still look at myself in the mirror. Barely. For now. Every time I maybe regret speaking out against reconstitution, I think about what happened to Mr. Labat. When thoughts like that creep up I remember the agony of an English teacher not rehired who spent days waiting and waiting for that letter not knowing at the time if he would be rehired and being unable to get the information from the gutless principal who didn’t have the compassion to just tell him. That’s when I realize my instincts were right – that this would not go down the way they said. Then I remember that same English teacher being told by another school that they didn’t want to hire any more “old white men” and then being happy for him when he landed a great position. And I thought how awful that Cortines put these great teachers and good people through all of that- people who had done nothing but work tirelessly for a school they loved- and for what?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Gary Jones permalink
    October 17, 2010 8:38 am

    The Cultural Revolution against teachers is a part

    of the extermination of European cultures and

    economies throughout the world. The only

    way a white male can be portrayed as a victim

    in the mainstream media is if he is a homosexual.

    As a older white heterosexual male at Fremont

    I was targeted for harassment and isolation by

    the young multicultural turks and their allies

    there. Get used to it. If you’re white,

    you’re racist no matter what you do.

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