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The state of Education is in chaos.  It is another massive institution that aligns with the Medical Industrial Complex and the Justice system.  In other words the Lawyers who Lawyer and create a myriad of laws to both protect, ensure and cover up the status quo and that is their industry of Law.   We have Lobbyists who write laws, we have think tanks that dictate law by advocating positions that are bought and paid for by the industry that desires a certain outcome, then we have the rich and richer ensuring their position by closing doors that would provide opportunities for others to join them at the buffet table of life.  They do that by systemically under-funding Education, by creating fake lists of academia to place people in competition for the few slots "awarded" to those who are deigned as acceptable to enter the hallowed halls. 

Currently Bloomberg, a wealthy oligarch is creating some faux non profit to get kids to college and enhance diversity.  I am not sure why he thinks that unless he realizes that Affirmative Action is failing or will be cut from law, so let's have a poor person version of that with no emphasis on color and that appeals to everyone!    Could he just focus on gun control that might be a good start as they could get their alive and stay alive while there which would not be a bad thing.

Education is the great equalizer, the ability to enable those to move up the ladder and in turn provide - for both the larger good - the economy - and the smaller good - their individual lives. And at some point Education was not providing that for those faces of color so Affirmative Action was born and slowly that is getting whittled away.  But the rising costs, the lack of public education funding have also contributed to fewer going to College and those who are often drop out before completing the program which is the real issue, showing up financially and educationally unprepared.

I am done.  I have never seen anything like this in the decades I have been involved in Education.  The surreal aspect of walking into a school everyday has made me ill. I already am struggling with immense dental and health issues and am awaiting reconstruction surgery but I wonder if I can make the next six months in the state I am in.   And by state I mean Tennessee.  I have never met a group of people so idiotic and self involved in my life and I grew up in Seattle and lived in San Francisco so I have seen some amazing self narcissism in both cities.

Last night the local School Board was planning to vote on stopping future charter schools in the city as they are concerned about funding and resources to the mainstream public schools that are under their jurisdiction. The motion was tabled to another day due to the last minute involvement by the local Chamber of Commerce who are pro reform advocates.  And while they have no children enrolled in a public school and probably have never set foot in one in their lives they are sure that charters are the answer to the question - can you spell?

I only wish these lazy assed white fucks (I have never met the Chamber but get real this is another conservative business group like many others with an agenda to keep the status quo - that is the rich are richer and the poor serve them) would get their asses into public schools, either as a volunteer or as a Substitute Teacher.

Yesterday I was at an elementary school that is in the middle of a gentrifying neighborhood it is almost all exclusively run by Black people, I met only four white people when there and that was a Teacher, a Speech Pathologist, Music Teacher and the Librarian; the entire school including students are of color.  So when ed reformers speak of getting more faces of color in school to provide them with both mentors and leaders that they can connect to should go to this school.  

Now right away I hear the silent screams "RACIST" for pointing out the obvious.  I did not say the school was poorly run, the Teachers incompetent or anything that placed a comparison denigrating the Staff or Students because of their color.  In fact most of the Teachers were nice but the first one I "met" or encountered would be a better word as she was a bitch in every sense of that word.  Now that could be because of color or not or just the reality is that here in Nashville the term Southern Hospitality is an oxymoron. 

The job that I accepted and the job I was given were not the same. This is common in Nashville as there is a shortage of subs (shocking, I know! Not really) and the schools do intentionally lie and fail to disclose that you are in fact subbing for a Teacher who walked out and quit, that was arrested, that is on long term disability and that the room has been under a rotating crew of subs as the school fails to get anyone willing or that stupid to stay.    I would no more take a long term gig than the man in the moon, their compensation and lack of support is enough reason alone to say no thanks.

Last week I was in said class where the Teacher had quit before Thanksgiving, another where the Teacher broke his leg and yet the school seemed to think that it was okay to just take it day by day until they could get a former retired Teacher to take the gig.  Meanwhile the kids suffer but hey this is not about the kids, it never is.

So when I went into this 1st grade class of little people for what was supposedly 2 hours then onto the next and so on throughout the day, hauling my lunch, my purse, coat and gear from room to room, I found no lesson plans, nothing.  Again not surprising in fact that is the norm here; However, the Teacher was actually late, had called in and they did not even bother to explain that to me,  so the kids were in another class with another Teacher/Coach/someone who brought them to me.  I had no idea what to do so I had the kids help me by explaining and start doing the daily routine, she arrived.  To say BITCH would be insufficient.  She did not greet me other than to reprimand me in front of the children,and when I informed her that I was here due to some meeting I thought she was already in, she stomped out without any clear guidance or acknowledgement that was where she was going or anything. I was not sure if I was watching a child's temper tantrum or an adult woman's.     All of this was in fact observed by the Secretary who was across the hall and whom I had to speak to about attendance policy.  It was during that exchange when I said this lack of information and treatment of me as a professional is not only embarrassing it is upsetting.  She came down and later as did the Principal who spoke to me but all that should have been done is ask this woman to apologize and explain why she felt compelled to treat an adult professional in that manner.  That would no more happen then the man on the moon.

And throughout the day I walked into one after another of these heavily managed classrooms that the minute the Teacher left the kids broke into chaos.   I knew in one room by the arrangement that 5 black males were set up to avoid confrontation and sure enough they did not disappoint.  So I immediately thought of that study that claimed white Teachers treat and have lower expectations for black males, well they need to come here and see what I see as apparently so do black Teachers.  But there were other problems, truly it was crazy and I said at one point, "what is that when I try to help one of you some of you feel compelled to act so crazy that I cannot do anything here but just stop the fighting and provoking?" And in true kid fashion the one kid who I suspect is the alpha male as his desk was adjacent to the Teachers (not a good sign) said, "you called us crazy."  I know instantly when that flag is raised it is get the hell out of there so  I once again made the grand bargain and said when the Teacher returned that I had failed them and that the crazy behavior that I witnessed was my failure to understand and know the needs of the kids and that it was my fault so I would never come here again and that I understood that I had failed.  Again kids thinking they would not get into trouble is all that matters so she actually asked them if that I had said this to them and they confirmed this and I left.  I am sure that shocked the hell out of her but in reality I just feel bad for kids, frankly. There were numbers on the floor in the halls and they had to stand on them between classes, the bathrooms seem to be the only place they escape and the one in the kindergarten room was locked as they had destroyed it, yes kindergarten, so it was clear that there were issues as this is not the first school I have seen bathrooms locked or access limited.

I was in the same kindergarten class at the end of the day and when the Substitute was going over the day (she had been going to this school long term as they had a Teacher quit so came out of retirement to do long term jobs at the school) the kids could not recite one thing they had learned that day.   This lack of memory is truly troubling. They were clearly preoccupied with the apple snacks she was to distribute.   She wisely gave them their afternoon snacks to take home as she had no intention of cleaning.   I had already figured out the food thing as well as this is another weirdness here where the kids eat breakfast in their classes before school,  hauling up and down hot and cold servers on trolleys throughout the school, so then add classroom cleaning to the duties with the mess that results.  I had made the kids I had earlier eat their apples on their way to music so they could dispose of garbage in the hall trash as I had no intention of cleaning another room. Yes this is nuts.  They should have it in the gym or cafeteria or playground with recess, eat all meals in the cafeteria, learn how to clean it or make that duty a dentition responsibility which serves twofold purpose.  They micro manage and bark at these kids as if they are in the military and it shows in their behavior that this is not normal for children so they balk at the first chance they get.

Which brings me to the gig the day before. This was at a high school logistic class. The Teacher had an appointment (which when I found out what it was I laughed my ass off) and had scheduled a speaker for both classes.  This ended up to be a Marine all of 26 and what should have been about how the military does logistics (that is shipping/receiving) was instead a bizarre talk about the Marines and a quasi recruitment effort.    It was idiotic and the kids questions and responses were about what I would have expected - wait for it - idiotic.    So while I was listening and then not as it was offensive to me and I support the Military just not the right wing politics that seem to accompany that (see Trump's crew on that one) I was tidying up the desk looking for paper to write with and found a letter from a Law firm telling the Teacher that as the Attorney of record had to leave the firm and is in the process of disbarment, they would have to pass on his case and he has until the 9th of December to find new council and if that date was insufficient they would apply for a delay until he could do so.   So right away I had to know about this and I found the Summary Judgment brief filed by the opposition and it was a civil case with regards to unfair dismissal from his previous employer.  And the reason for the case was discrimination - wait for it - he was suing as he felt he was fired for being a WHITE GUY!

After I came to from nearly passing out - laughing - I read the case history.  Apparently in his last job this now Teacher of logistics was a salesman and in that gig was doing the Wells Fargo. This will now be my phrase for those who sign people up for stuff, fail to close or cancel accounts, don't talk to customers or basically commit acts of fraud.  Apparently he did that had been warned and transferred with agreements to be a good boy.  He failed.  And with that investigations ensued and was terminated. His explanation was that everyone did it and the defense cited the names of those he had referred to as everyone.  Well everyone was white.  Okay then.   So if this case makes it to court with the new Attorney who may or many not be disbarred, as in Nashville we have had two of those of late, along with a  Sheriff and Legislator under investigation for improprieties so the bar is low here (pun intended) so this is a case of Trumpian proportions.   I met the dude and yes he is white and he was a snarky dude, he was no more polite than the woman yesterday whom I did not meet as meeting would be asking/exchanging names, greeting and well being friendly. Again here in Nashville that is a broad conception that is well non-existent.  Biscuits anyone?

At least I can say at this point my book on the subject of Substitute Teaching is writing itself.  And yes I can spell without spellchecker.   I am sloppy at times with Grammar but that is what an Editor is for but at least I had an Education I am not sure today's kids are getting one.

This post first appeared on Green Goddess VV, please read the originial post: here

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