February 7, 2020-
With a sneer, the self-styled “chief paraprofessional” took issue with my enunciating the first ‘r’ in “February”. “It’s Feb-YOO-ery. Learn to speak AMERICAN English”. With that, all pretense, that the particular school was operating about the welfare of children, went out the window. I left not long afterward.
Many work environments, throughout the world, have taken to minimizing their stated mission, in favour of preserving some sort of falsehood-based alternate agenda, centered on the ego gratification of a certain few. Ignorance is, then, more than bliss. It becomes the soft ground, on which pseudo-institutions are built, and on which they thrive.
There is a strong team of professionals, struggling to save, and rebuild, a school in which I was honoured to have spent time, not too long ago. What they face is a three-generational climate of self-loathing and learned helplessness. That some of these professionals have been there for nearly five years, speaks to the strength of the human heart; to the indomitable essence of the human spirit.
I have been an educator for 44 years. While there are people whom I will admit to having failed, the vast majority have been helped, by the teams of which I was an active part. The key has always been to love the child, to not give up-ever, to build the patience needed to counter the worst of defeatism. As I go about northern Arizona, in this, my last calendar year of being a full-time educator, that mindset has not diminished.
Even after retiring, my battle, with ignorance and antipathy towards children and youth, will remain my cornerstone.