Tuesday, June 13, 2006

DoubleSpeak

Warning: this is a rant.


After six years of teaching at a school I absolutely loved in a part of the state I absolutely didn't, I transferred to a part of the state I absolutely love to teach at a school I absolutely don't. The motto of my current school district is "all means all," a pedagogy to which I fully subscribe. It was my adherence to this philosophy that led me to choose my current district over the five or six others in the area. Unfortunately for me, but mostly for the students, "all means all" is a complete and utter crock of shit.

I have just returned from my school's graduation ceremony where the names of the honors graduates, who are predominantly white, were read before the names of the other graduates, who are (you guessed it) predominantly black.

Why stop there? I mean, we offer five different diplomas. Why not call the names of the kids who earned Advanced Studies diplomas first, followed by the names of the Standard diploma kids, then the Tech-Prep diploma kids, then the Vocational diploma kids, and lastly the Special-Ed diploma kids? Maybe at the end we could even give a little shout-out to all the kids who dropped out over the course of their high-school careers once they internalized the message that we just didn't give a fuck about them.

If all means all, you call everybody's name in alphabetical order. You don't segregate kids at their fucking graduation. If all means all you assign your best, most dynamic teachers to teach your weakest kids and let the worksheet queens "teach" the honors kids. If all means all you sure as fuck don't assign the most hated teacher (for good reason) in school to teach a course to students who have already failed it once (or possibly more). If all means all you come to work every day and do your damndest to reach all the kids -- even the kids who aren't yours, even the kids who seem unreachable. Hell, if all really means all you don't even have honors vs. regular classes in the first place.

Okay, that's all. End of rant. I'm going to go smoke a cigarette. Or five.

6 comments:

Brian said...

That was a rant?

Megan said...

It wasn't? It felt pretty rant-y at the time. I mean, I used the f-word in practically every sentence. And I'm super-pissed off.

Maybe I need to work on my rants?

vikkitikkitavi said...

Whatever it was, well done!

Monster said...

F words are cool.

Maybe, though, your rants would be better if you weren't so anul all the time. :)

Melissa said...

You smoke?

Megan said...

Um, about one cigarette a day. Or obviously more on a bad day (or a drunk night). Five is pretty much my limit though.