Analysis + Music + Satire = Action
- My Huffington Post
- Occupy Santa Rosa
- Brilliant Salon Article on the Bait and Switch of School Reform
- Santa Rosa's Teachers Association
- Henry Giroux's Online Articles
- Why the United States is Destroying its Education System
- Jonathan Kozol in Harper's
- A Letter to Arne Duncan
- Paul Krugman's "Competitiveness: A Dangerous Obsession"
- Competitiveness Vs. Excellence in Education
- Lawrence O'Donnell on Teachers w/ Matt Damon Footage
- Why States Should Refuse NCLB Waivers
- Valerie Strauss' Interview w/Alfie Kohn
- Garret Keizer's Harper's Essay "Getting Schooled: The Re-education of an American Teacher
- Diane Ravitch and Brian Jones on Democracy Now
- The Flawed Business Model of Education
- Education Radio w/Barbara Madeloni: "We are the 99%, Fighting for the 'Public' in Education"
- "Race To Nowhere" Film and Movement
- The N.E.A. Succumbs to Testing Pressures
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Does This Blog Matter? It's Up to You.
Someone in Malaysia has viewed the blog. And Canada. It has been viewed 800 times since the calendar vote. Ok, so the person in Malaysia might have accidentally stumbled into TheEdutalk while fumbling for the url to Edutalk. The 800 views is actually just a couple of you guys going wild. (It's not me - my settings don't allow the stats to track me.) And anyway, what does one person in Malaysia or Canada have to do with Santa Rosa City Schools?
Maybe it's just me getting worked up over a measly 350 views the day of the calendar vote, and all the great comments that have dwindled since then. No big deal, right? We've held steady at 100 views every day, but again, it could be a core group of people going on there 30 times a day. So what if it is? Doesn't that say something about the energy radiating from that core? Over time, it could be infectious. That's how I have to think because this is my contribution, right now, at this moment, to the revolution. Accidentally on purpose, we may unleash a fervor that can't be stuffed back down.
It's like being in a classroom. You teach your heart out whether or not you can measure the difference it makes. Yep, I said "measure." On rough days it feels like there is no point. Nobody is listening. Nobody gets it. Nobody cares. But then you go to lunch and have a laugh with colleagues and an inspiring conversation or two. The students make you smile with endearing antics, or razor sharp insights. Maybe a few crowd around your desk right before the bell to clarify a point that was made in class. But it's always something, and for me it's been 10 years of somethings that have kept me going.
Now I'm trying to make a difference outside of the classroom, but it's the same energy moving me. And I'm trying to move the energy, just like we do in the classrooms when everything feels dead. Donna had the idea for this blog and I started it because of the calendar vote. We went to that lunch meeting and many of us thought our union was playing dead. No, we didn't change the vote, but we did change some minds with that blog. I know because I heard from those people directly.
Ok, maybe I shouldn't extrapolate from just a few to masses of people, but isn't that what teachers do, in a sense? We magnify the small teaching moments into life-changing paradigm shifts. New ideas lead to new life. It happens ALL the time, and that's the magic of this profession.
I'm asking the magicians among us to have a little faith and start helping me create a ripple effect that will, in Michael Moore's words, "arouse[d] a sleeping giant" right here in Santa Rosa. Obviously, the blog is not going to do that on its own. The times are. You know it, and I know it. We are living through a radical moment. Anything is possible right now, and now is the time to act. You can't tell me you have never heard of a meme. Ideas are not hemmed in by geography or numbers. They can travel very far, very fast even if shepherded by one person. Luckily, we have more than one person in this fight.
Imagine if every single person in our district who had these thoughts fleetingly on a given day posted, "followed" or shared the blog with others. Imagine. We could jolt this city into awareness of the budgetary crime being committed against its kids. How else do we have a prayer of passing Brown's tax extension? We need to be pressuring our legislators yesterday, marching through the streets and campuses yesterday to fend off the coming economic disaster that is expected to take place in 2012-13. But we only have today. Luckily, memes can make up for a lot of lost time. Imagine change at light speed and shake off the incremental blues. Imagine.