5 comments on “Knowing the Truth

  1. “Welcome to the desert of the real.” – Morpheus

    The snarky gremlin that lives inside of me wants to reply to some of these teachers by saying “you’re right I don’t see them as humans, I prefer to think of my students as Furyans!” -insert blank look accusing teacher here.

    You find yourself in the crosshairs of something that I often experience. Teachers, and most humans for that matter, often have a rather myopic view of the world. If it isn’t taking place in their classroom, if it doesn’t directly impact their world, well then it must be an outdated antiquated policy and you must be blindly following administration.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, so this message isn’t really for the Rebel-Bates but for the random person who reads her blog replies.

    Unless you have been an administrator, talked with an administrator, or made a concerted effort to understand why things are happening the way they are you really might have a difficult time understanding why policies and rules exist. The good news for educators is that to become a principal you have to have been a teacher. The bad news for principals is that teachers seldom care about the legal implications that their actions may cause. They see the immediate learning benefit and champion this as the reason for their “breaking the rules.” But at what cost?

    The reality is that most rules are there to protect the student, the teacher, and the school – in that order. As soon as a teacher breaks rank, well they become personally liable. So, yes the school can (and probably will be) sued but the teacher on a personal level can also be brought to court. If you have a couple million to burn, by all means go for it.

    One of my favorite quotes, and one that I live by is from one of my favorite minds of all time: Nikola Tesla:

    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”

    Sally forth Brave Bates leader. You are Awesome! *cough you know I dispise edu-anything 😉

    Just remember that if the future is so bright you gotta wear shades that I’ll be the first one joining you with my cheap sunglasses on La Grange.

    Now, lets go teach those Furyans!

    • I always love your references to classic rock, John.

      I don’t know how many times I’ve exclaimed while doing my graduate work, “You can be sued for THAT?!?” Or “That’s a safety issue?!?” It’s mind-boggling.

      You and I have talked about rebellion and insubordination quite considerably, and we both agree that if the possibility exists to achieve an aim without breaking rules, one should take that avenue. Flouting policies for no reason is immature and unprofessional. There are so many good hills to die on; why do that prematurely?

      I love that Tesla quote. I’m going to add an allusion to it in my Favorite Phrases to Use bank: I’m making my future here.

      Thank you for also being awesome :),
      Sam

  2. You know, I saw some of the exchange that inspired this post the other night, and I thought about jumping in but did not for a couple of reasons. First, it was over, and it didn’t seem like a pot that needed stirring now it had cooled. Second, I think that you may have been the victim of a troll.

    I can’t be certain. Perhaps this was someone you know or have run into in the past. I’ll likely never know. But the behavior of the person attempting to disparage your reputation as an educator, as an employee, and as a human being just had the stink of a troll. I imagined some thirty-something-year-old guy living in his mother’s basement eating Suzy Q’s and smoking cloves and guzzling the lot down with gallons of Diet Coke. “Ahhh!” he thought. “Here’s a place to insinuate myself into a conversation I could never understand and take potshots at people discussing things I cannot fathom.” I mean really. “At what age does one become a person?” Come on.

    We are teachers.

    We see children in a very different light from the one in which their parents, their neighbors, their friends, and especially they, themselves, do. We have to. Our job is to know them, to diagnose them, to deliver the instruction they require, to build them up, to break them down, to build them back again, to challenge them, to comfort them, and to make sure that they never give up. We know our students’ humanity – whatever age or grade we teach – better than nearly anyone else in our students’ lives. And, as you said, they know that, and they remember.

    They come back to us in their moments of need. They remember us in essays about influential people in their lives. They will find us forty years from now when we are in our eighties and they in their fifties, and they will thank us for giving them the tools they needed to survive. We don’t get paid every two weeks or twice a month. We get paid in the currency that really matters only once in a blue moon, when we see our kids working in the drive thru or shopping at the grocery store. That is the moment when they realize that we were among the only people who ever realized that they were people all along.

    Don’t mind trolls. That person was questioning his or her own humanity in that attack. And everyone who saw that exchange, participated in it, or scrolled through it later knows the answer.

    Sleep well, and work hard tomorrow. The world is counting on us.

  3. Happy to be able to read your blog. Loved the part where you wrote “When these two have their own families, they’ll still be my students.” So true. And you will still love them just as much.

    PS – I think my personal file has that same word in it. Whatever it takes to help the kids experience success!

    • I’m glad I’m not alone!! I finally included a little information about it in my grad work this week. I’m working on my Masters in administration, and the topic was due process. It seemed relevant. 🙂

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