All teacher protests STOPPED as our collective world imploded with a global pandemic and now protests against racial injustice. The same issues within our educational indoctrination system, however, remain to be solved. By now, most American parents, after assuming the critical role of “substitute teacher”, not only appreciate teachers but they have also gained some practical experience, understanding and wisdom about their work challenges. Recent events have only magnified the disparities and issues within the educational indoctrination system including safety concerns for students (viruses/germs, guns, bullying etc), best practices (traditional and online) and a need for an “inclusive” curriculum, test scores and graduation rates, and teacher recruitment / retention (training, salaries, and benefits). More than ever, we will need strong, healthy and effective school systems to help us to regain some normalcy for our children. We also have to review the unstated, informal education children receive since this “hidden curriculum” helps to indoctrinate innocent, young minds into adulthood.
“A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter — or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin color – is intolerable. We need to progress beyond sympathy and good intentions to laws and policies that actually address structural racism and impunity. Ending abuses in policing is just the start. It goes far beyond that, to all aspects of society, from our education system to our politics.”Angelina Jolie – – Actress, Humanitarian, Mother
Our teachers have been validated and exalted by the most honest, precious stakeholders in the equation – – the children. Students miss you. Students love you. Students need you. Our “substitute teacher” parents have done a commendable job but our teaching professionals are needed to take over the reigns once again. Teachers are the undisputed, pied pipers who can collectively set the tone for not only educating but helping young leaners to understand and make sense of recent events in this country and the world. But, they need our help and support too! We need to reform the educational indoctrination system into one that will not only benefit the students but also transform our country’s commitment to its workforce and what it means to be called EDUCATED. America’s transformation must begin with teachers receiving treatment commiserate with other modern countries who have demonstrated that commitment in the areas of both compensation and public prestige.
Anyone who has ever participated on a team or group activity knows what it means to have a crew backing you up. It can mean winning or losing and requires both trust and loyalty. You each must know your strengths and weaknesses and how best to capitalize on them to achieve the goal. Just like the NBA championship Chicago Bulls basketball team, when a star player moves – – everyone must move into position – – just like that – – in order for them to win the trophy (ask Air Jordan). This same approach is needed in developing a plan for changing the educational indoctrination system. If we can agree, all interested parties (unions, administrators, teachers, educators/historians, health professionals, parents, students, taxpayers etc.) must stand up to help and move into position. The national teacher protests have stopped but that doesn’t mean the planning, plotting and strategizing should stop as the clean slate of opportunity awaits. Nothing happens without hard work, energy and effort. So, when the school doors open across the country, all educators, teachers, and students will return but hopefully into a better educational indoctrination system than when the doors closed. Get ready. Get set. Go!