Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tired Thoughts on Teachers in a Nutshell

"I'm can't wait till my last day at the school I'm teaching. I'm so over it. I like teaching but this school is a disaster. I feel like some of what I teach these kids goes in one ear and out the other. Their are good children in inner city schools but honestly most of them are way way way behind. It's depressing."

-Anonymous 27-Year Old Teacher on Facebook

The Ultra-Dedicated-Teacher-as-Parent is neo-liberal capitalism's way of dealing with the fact that material changes in our economy over the past 40 years have created a very different set of options and consequences for parents (and children) than used to exist. That, and the continued existence of segregated, low income neighborhoods along with white flight to the suburbs after the civil rights movement have tended to leave inner city schools with very poor tax bases that are unable to provide the sort of education that better funded suburban and private schools can. The neo-liberal solution to this neo-liberal problem? Blame the teachers. Introduce merit based pay and fire them for not teaching the hungry kid with a single mom or dad in jail as well as the suburan, private school teacher was able to teach kids from a nice house with books in it and with stably employed, professional parents. Thus blame and dispose of professional, veteran teachers. Replace them with super-caring, super dedicated idealistic teacher-parents fresh out of college/ grad school who will work off the clock and pay out of their own pocket for teaching materials (easier than raising school budgets!) and eventually burn out and quit in 1-3 years.

Who wins? In the short term... probably wealthy people who don't have to be taxed more, the military-industrial complex whose salaries and pet projects and imperial pipe dreams continue to be subsidized at the expense of domestic living standards, capitalists generally who no longer pay one worker an adequate wage to have a home, raise a family, and either allow their spouse to stay home and raise the kid or afford decent child care... In the long term? Probably the ruling classes of China, India, Brazil, and other newly-industrialized countries, who are able to bring themselves and increasingly something resembling a placated middle class into the 21st century on the basis of 20th century jobs and wages countries like ours began abolishing in the 1970s for the sake of the bottom line.

And the domestic pleebs? Give 'em walmart, Mcjobs, juggalos, gangsta rap, fast food, a couple tours in Iraq, meth, weed, and payday loans at 400% interest. God willing the combination'll kill em off faster than they can figure how to build a third party.

The Struggle Continues...

1 comment:

  1. Postscript: Progress being the heartless bastard that it is, a couple decades and a world war or two later, pleebs of the Newly Industrialized Countries might have the opportunity to enjoy the same cycle once we colonize Pandora and figure out how to export manufacturing there.