Every radical loves Democracy, as long as the votes go his way…

I’m becoming more “conservative” as I age, which pisses me off because I’d hate for Kruschev to be right. I don’t mean Nikita. It’s not that I’m becoming a Republican, I’ve become more cynical and cautious. Generally, I believe anyone espousing some message of radical reform and the transformative power of “the people” is a pretty petty and ambitious jerk. This is just a preface to yet another annoying observation about work.

My boss is a huge proponent of democracy in schools. It irks me. Mainly because he asks students and these outside “experts” to share their “voice” on many internal issues. So what ends up happening, is that the voices of people who actually bear responsibility for the functioning of the school are drowned out. It’s exactly the situation that Starship Troopers argues against. And I am no fan of Heinlein. But damn if he doesn’t sound like a genius on this one.

What you pay for…

As you know, I’m a teacher. I’m not very happy with my profession. It’s difficult to work in an environment obsessed with “leadership skills” and various “learning theories”. It always amazes me when I sit through some professional development about schemes to present substandard content in a new and “fresh” way. The presenting experts are always in their late 20’s, having spent at most 4 years in a classroom and holding some sort of liberal arts degree. But they speak confidently about how to teach subjects they don’t understand.

And with all that is spent on reform, all of the attention paid. At the end of the day, many days, I lock the doors on the floor of my school. The administrators have gone home, leaving myself, the janitor and sometimes as many as two dozen totally unsupervised kids in the building. And the principal didn’t even pull the door shut behind him.