In one of my conversations yesterday, as we were discussing our goals for our time together, one of my colleagues told me firmly, “I am seeking better armor for my battle agains entropy and despair.” He went on to explain that in so many cases, teachers and students have become complacent, almost fatalistic in their attitude towards school. Put simply, the seem willing to tacitly accept that school is going to be miserable, that the educational system is going to fail most if not all, adn that there is just nothing to be done for it.
I don’t think it would surprise anyone to hear that I- and my colleagues at ANE- disagree. The belief that we not only can change the system, but that we have a moral responsibility to do so. The people around me here at this event would say the same. Perhaps what we need are more events like these- smaller in scale and length but equal in passion and intensity- to shake off the complacency.
In the meantime, I’m headed back to my small group, filled with eggs and scones and so much coffee I’m practically vibrating, to polish my own armor.
You probably know what my comment will be but I will state my case anyway. Many schools continue to operate boring, unsafe, narrow schools; I heard a case today of a gay student being harassed and beaten at school, a teacher even told him that he should look at himself each day and tell himself what a bad person he was until he changed. But I truly believe that there are more and more teachers, administrators and students who do not want the same old system. We polish our armor each day but only to help us lead others out of the darkness.