PROBLEMS FACING EDUCATORS in Education:
(This conduit called education carries everyone through life.)
I know you struggle with discipline in your students and a lack of respect for the teaching profession. I have been on the inside of education looking out. Now I am on the outside looking in. From a detached perspective, I offer another model for feminine leadership. A vision that reveals how women in education are being used by the corporate state and why it is imperative for the future that you become a participant in your own liberation.
Graduating from High School was a small endeavor, but I wanted more. So, I enrolled in college because unconsciously I knew it was the next thing to do. First in junior college then off to the university, still searching for meaning and a way to find a measure of peace. Sitting in a counseling class, I was caught in the grips of despair because the root of my problems had surfaced only to go underground again. It would be many years later before they would resurface again long enough for me to heal.
As I look back on my life I see how I was primed to be an educator. I was a child of the 60’s. I grew up in a time when being black was a source of pride. A child who believed in adults and the world she grew up in. I loved education and found success and a measure of ease. Unfortunately, I found myself trapped in the world of learning looking for meaning and purpose, finding no release so I continued this unending search until it guided me to find the meaning of my being.
Education discovered me. I embraced the idea that I was an educator. Stepping through the door as a teacher would be how I would relate to the world. Children would come to my class and be changed by learning. They would open themselves up to the wonders of discovery.
A few years later I attended an educational conference. The underlying theme was the idea that the educator was the central figure who would transform the world. I was excited and impelled to go back to my school. Later I fully embraced it as my mission to transform the world through my work with children. Little did I know that it was me who needed to change. I grew to understand the link between and society and school and where the transformation was to take place.
Value of the Educator
It is my belief that the educator is the single most important person in education. We are on the front lines, in the trenches, working diligently every day to educate children. It is an overwhelming responsibility to educate the next generation, but an awesome honor to the touch the life of a child. To ignite a spark and help a child navigate through life. To see the glow in her eyes when she learned to read when she has figured out a difficult math problem. To watch a flower open and bloom and the wonderful aroma and colors brighten the room.
Teaching was the next best thing to being a lifelong student. The very nature of education is growth. Graduating from college most think they have arrived at a place of successes. Unfortunately, we as educators must continue to grow. A possible reason why education is on the decline is that we as adults have stopped growing.
In all sunshine, there is a little dark. I soon become disillusioned as I saw through education. I was the teacher. Testing is what education was all about. I did not find the comraderies with teachers or principal at my school. I had to change my classroom many times, looking for a place to be a peace.
In the classroom, children constantly challenged me. Defiance was the order of the day. Students came to school unprepared to adapt to an alien culture they were thrust into.
During my ten years teaching in Kentucky I watched as new teachers, including myself, got lost in the shuffle to remake education. There were hostile school takeovers and lost respect for education that sent most teacher on a fast track to burn-out. I soon became disenchanted and no longer wanting to play the game. So, I decided that I needed to leave the very thing I had come to value.
The Status Quo
Female educators are the carriers of culture. We women pass on this unspoken code to children in our care. What are we passing on to children? A soul-less culture that wants to maintain the status quo. That idea has outlived its’ usefulness. Now on the decline, it has become a totalitarian rule and a source of violence that has lulled children into. How can we create a culture that empowers children and helps them find a measure of success?
I could no longer be in a place that was not progressing, so I abandoned my source of income and started to wander. I moved away from the very thing I had become passionate about. I lived as a substitute teacher and a tutor, but not a moment of rest did I find. So, I continued to flow with the current that was my life. But like a shadow education followed me.
Unbeknownst to me, it was like the glue holding my life was coming undone. If I let go of my identity as a teacher who would I be? I left education in 2001 and drifted aimlessly for over fifteen years trying to discover who I was.
Pulsating in the background of my life was the idea that there was a secret to life that I did not know. I dug to the core of the earth to find what it could be. While questioning everyone and everything to be sure. I discovered it is through education that the elite maintains their stronghold on children and the world.
Also during 2001, it was like the floodgates of my emotions that had been locked inside opened and released. All the anguish and disappointments I had experienced found its way on the empty page. The writing was how I began to make sense of my life.
For the next few years, I bounced around with a few part-time jobs. A tutor at the community center, as an in-home tutoring, all the while writing poetry, trying to heal the hurt and figure out my next move.
The Next Move
The next move was to Florida to help my daughter with her children. It was a good mix, I helped with the children and I had found something else to throw myself into. While in Florida I found the internet. First Facebook then as a WordPress Blogger. My next venture was a poet on the world wide web. As a Word-press blogger, I found the platform upon which I sent my words. Facebook allowed me to tinker with video and visual images that portrayed the wisdom that was revealed to me as I continued to immerse myself in this new world of learning. All measure of life I explored, from Spirituality to Mindfulness to understanding the power of Creative Visualization.
Finding the Wide-World Web
This new-found stream of information opened me to another life that I needed to see. Viewing my thoughts from a distance, I saw how they had me in a perpetual prison, trapped in my own reality. Slowly the thoughts were like clouds floating by as I began to evolve beyond my own thoughts and an identity that kept me a prisoner to them. I realized that my thoughts are but one perspective in a field of many. Once I started to allow my thoughts to be and not totally believe in them this lead me to the center of my meaning and showed me how to extract a small grain of truth that opened a door for me.
No Longer a Prisoner of Thought
As I stepped outside of my thoughts, I saw them as the thoughts of my culture, my father, my mother, those who lived in my immediate vicinity. I started to cling less and less to the persona that I called my personality. I was free to be. I could understand my life and which way I need to go.
Meditation and quiet contemplation moved me to the next evolutionary shift that we humans must make. It is the only thing that will push up forward from this stuck-on rewind mode of educational reform.
I had to turn around and look directly at my life and see that I could transform myself and meet the challenge before me. It has been my mission to transform education ever since I entered the arena in 1992.
After leaving my fulltime job as an educator in 2001I began to see the slow decline in Democracy that we see on a national level. This loss of purpose is directly related to the decline of the educational function of schools as a guiding light.
True Educational Reform
Education was once a sacred undertaking. A ceaseless process of producing humanistic individuals and creating culture and peace. It is the most precious art of life. Schools were the site of learning about life and practicing democracy. This is no longer clear.
For so long, there has been too much emphasis placed on the cognitive elements in learning, and none on the internal life of the child. Administrators and teachers take for granted the dual personal and social nature of children. This has led to a disconnected culture.
The twenty-first century demands a change from feeling disconnected to embracing the interconnectedness of life which leads to a radical shift in society.
The current purpose of education is a mechanism that serves national objectives, be they political, militaristic, economic or ideological, casing children into a uniform mold.
The uniforms in schools are a physical sign that young person are being co-opted and used by the state. The current leadership in education at the national level wants children to be uniform in their thinking and pledge to the American flag. It is a system that fosters obedient imperial subjects that are used by the state.
True educational reform has been pushed out and replaced by high-stakes testing controlled by the corporate state. This deliberate dumbing down of the educational system has created a population of citizens devoid of critical thinking skills. Any educational reform that does not have at its’ heart the personal development of the educator will prove to be futile. School’s meaning has reached an impasse.
Thus, the need for a New Standard of Womanhood/Educator
To be a real force for change in the twenty-first-century educators must wrestle free from being an instrument used by the corporate state. What is essential is that you adopt an empowerment leadership style that empowers children and helps them create value with their life.
You are the deciding factor in the evolution of educators. You can elevate the status of education to be the golden pillar of life, society, and the future by taking on the challenge. We, women, are trained to be leaders in the classroom. We are the ones who have a direct influence on the lives of children and the power to transform lives.
Each child comes to school with a world they were born into. She must be respected as an individual and not treated as an empty vessel to be filled with meaningless facts.
The truth of the matter is, schools are a mirror reflection of society. Training grounds for real life. Unfortunately, the lack of discipline and disrespect for women not only happens in schools but in society as well. Women now occupy approximately 83% of teachers at the elementary level. We can shift the perspective and bring respect back to the teaching profession.
Schools are important for young people. It is where they exercise social competence, which is directly related to success in school and later in life. It is in the classroom where democracy is experienced. Students learn to become global citizens and trust. It is the last frontier for some children to learn valuable skills needed in life.
You want to be a hero for your students. Teaching is your Super Power. The classroom is a place to stretch your leadership muscle and take a leading role in transforming the lives of the children in your care.
Changing of the Guard
This moment in history something is shifting, but we cannot really understand. It is the changing of the guards. The old system is falling away and losing its’ usefulness. There must be another system erected to take its’ place.
This is the time to build a partnership culture with your students. They bring to the classroom a history and a life up to that point. You must respect them and meet them where they are and bring them along.
You are the leader that will lead the evolution in the teacher-student relationship. It will happen in your classroom every day as you go about your day, teaching and interacting with students. It will be in the way you embrace students as an equal partner in learning and changing the world.
When you walk into the classroom you become the guide and the facilitator. You ensure the content is presented. Just step back after it is offered and watch the children come alive. Let them dance with the information and make it their own. Allow them to fail. Honor their choices and encourage risk-taking. Lastly, make the lesson engaging filled with adventure and excitement.
You are the hero for children. The direct intermediator between them and the world. You become a surrogate mother, teacher, and counselor. I know you did not sign on for this tremendous responsibility, but it has been thrust upon you. You are needed to be a buffer between them and the state.
EDUCATION BECOMES A PROCESS OF LIBERATING, EMPOWERING AND SOCIALIZING CHILDREN.
You are the
The one that Empowers
A Renewed Sense of Purpose
The last leg of my journey has brought me full circle to the source of learning, the system that educates children. Public education is the medium through which I now direct my life.
I no longer run away from this awesome task. But now I look at it and see that it is possible to remake education into a system that empowers educators and children. I propose a value creation education pedagogy lead by you. Where the aim of teaching is to awaken student’s interests. Bring forth the inner life of the child, which is filled with joy and motivation. A happiness that comes from learning rather than being told what to think.
As you begin to change how you think and act. You view education through a different paradigm. This changes the culture in the classroom and your school. It becomes a transformed system from domination to a partnership culture. Education then becomes a joint effort between teacher and student, who both develop and grow.
I want to inspire you to be courageous and an advocate for each child that sits in your classroom and look up to you as a role model.
In the twenty-first century, schools are social intuitions, a place to socialize children, instead of teaching them to play the game and continue the status quo which has lead us to this defining moment in history.
You create culture every day. In how you talk with children and other adults in your school. It is paramount that teachers respect children as individuals, and observe students as they try various approaches always based on feelings of deep empathy and compassion for them.
For so long we women have adopted the male model of leadership that has as its core, domination, and coercion to mold children’s behavior, consequently children rebel and cause classroom disruptions.
There is an alternative mode of leadership. It is Feminine Leadership that embraces the whole of the child and the classroom environment. You become instrumental in co-creating a culture where you enter the classroom with an openness and a leadership of empowerment that empowers children and help them cultivate a love of learning and citizenship which is practiced in the classroom. The classroom becomes the mini-society where each child is listened to and made to feel a valuable contributor to co-creating culture.