As the school year winds down, my mind turns to a more contemplative state, of times gone past.
The natural tendency at this time of graduations and promotions seems to indulge in some fond memories as the teachers grow more lax and there finally emerges the hopes of free time.
Reminiscing about the past has the ability to bring many tears of joy to your eyes, as the memories of success and bliss can be quite powerful. But, just as importantly, one must remember the mistakes, the hardships, the blunders and stupidity of times past.
I have not lived up to my goals, and I am disappointed.
The term of hypocrisy is tossed around often these days, and likely with good reason. But that begs the question: who exactly is a hypocrite? And how does that apply to us?
The Merriam-Webster definition of hypocrite is in two parts: 1) A person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion and 2) a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. These days, the more commonly recognized one is the second definition.
Often, we accuse people of promising one thing and then doing something else, or perhaps claiming one aspect but when pressed, reveals that they actually support the counter-argument. What do we do when we face such issues? How would we be able to differentiate when they lie, and when the truly have honest intentions?
The problem is that at some point in time, we have all been hypocrites. At some point, we have all decided that, perhaps the consequences of such a small white lie would allow for a better result. At some point, we reasoned that it wasn’t the action that determines the morality of the person, but instead, the betterment of the rest of us.
Education is in shambles and there is clearly some problem in the system. Even if we don’t agree on the exact root cause of the problem, although the “grouping everyone into one big program” argument sounds pretty sound to me, we do agree that there is a huge problem with what is going on. However, we are students after all. Any real reform that we can do will not be experienced for many years, at least until after we graduate or even when those pesky younger cousins graduate. It is hard to change the direction of such a large program with so much inertia, and while it is possible, it would take lots of time and lots of money.
Still, it is in the face of true difficulties that the beauties of humanity can most aptly be shown. Even if we are not able to change the entire world immediately, there are so many small steps that we can take in order to incite an air of revolution. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so we better make sure that step is towards the right direction.
(Why chalkboards and not the current, quintessential whiteboard? I’m not sure; I think it has something to do with this odd love affair with nostalgia. )
Our schools are broken.
Even if you see the gleaming white city upon a hill, backed by wonderful and miraculous test scores and graduation rates, you still have to admit.
Our schools are broken.
And I don’t mean just a small crack in the soft exterior, or a clean break through a noncritical component. I mean a real mess of mistakes, spiderwebbing throughout the very foundation of education as we know today.
There are so many things wrong with our school that I’m not sure where to start, but in all hopes of full disclosure, I’ll try to just “start from the beginning, and keep going until [I] reach the end.”
Divided into parts because it became too long to handle. Hopefully I’ll have all of these thoughts onto paper before I die on May 1st.
Part 1: Tests.
Part 2: Rant.
Part 3: What Next?
Part 4: Teaching
Part 5: Score Shaming
Part 6: Get Smart
Part 7: Gift. Ed.