Teach Kids Credibility Before Chutzpah

21 03 2007

Teacher performance pay is hot news here:

“Pinellas County educators recently rejected a state merit pay plan by a huge margin, saying no to millions. Here’s what they want state legislators to learn from their vote.”

SO not the point imo.

I’m more interested in what our state’s KIDS learn from their vote, indeed from everything unionized, politicized “educators” do and say and believe, and how it gets transmitted to the next generation, and the next, ad nauseum . . .including me, who as an earnest junior high school student completely idolized my teachers as “educators”, never realizing they had cast themselves in a different primary role as political muscle. My role was not star student so much as prop in the political drama (farce?)

John Taylor Gatto writes brilliantly about hidden curriculum, how stunningly effective schools are at teaching some life lessons — you know, the ones we don’t acknowledge because the cognitive dissonance would kill us if the pure shame didn’t? So I commented on the news story this morning at Nance’s test reform blog:

“Maybe the real problem with education politics is coming from the kind of student mind School invariably puts on the top of the heap and sends into the world to teach, chair education committees, etc.? If there’s truth to this, then educating our own isn’t enough, to turn it around before our whole system collapses of its own hubris.

. . .Children will listen!

How about we write some better stories into the school experience of kids now, whole new models for critical thinking, creative problem solving, collective wisdom, community action and conflict resolution — isn’t that what we claim to be teaching already? — so that when they become teachers, they will approach education as something other than ideological warfare between home and school, competing to claim the very influence they are squandering all the while . . .