Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Working from the inside

image via Gapingvoid

Hugh was recently writing about the way that blogs where considered boring, but how he had never been making more money from his blog now than back when blogs where exciting and sexy. I didn't really ponder on the post itself, but the print he chose really stuck with me. I suppose it was mostly the post just before it talking about purists being the only ones without any skin in the game, that really set me to think about a teacher friend of mine in Texas. She and I where chatting about how discouraged she was feeling about how her school didn't have any school spirit, or investment in their identity as a group and that was part of why the students had no interest in school or even graduating. She was feeling penned in because the State is amazingly narrowly focused on teaching to pass the standardized tests, and she wants to try to take steps to help the culture of the school to encourage interest, rather than alienating the students. Her administration told her that when the students reach their desired levels of achievement on their testing they would consider different approaches to improving the school spirit, until then her job was to get the children to meet state testing requirements.

She finds this to be soul crushing and is lamenting not only wandering from her friendly Blue State into the buckle of the Bible Belt, but her career and the interminably long road it will represent for her. I asked about working with in the system for change, and she pointed out that all the "Great" teachers that they make movies about finding and overcoming adversity work so hard they burn out and move on to other careers before those movies are made about them. Maybe teaching is too big of a problem to tackle on her own, but I suppose I am pushing my own rock up a hill here with State Government. I am a firm believer in change from the inside, and all you can do is pursue what you believe to be right.

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