Friday, August 9, 2013

To The Nation's Elites, Teachers are "Losers!"

To The Nation's Elites, Teachers are "Losers!"

There is a reason that people like Bill Gates, Chris Christie, Rahm Emmanuel, Jeb Bush, Andrew Cuomo, Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg and yes Barack Obama will never really listen to teachers voices. And that is because, in the competition for money, power, and position, which is what is all the that really counts to them, they see themselves as winners and teachers as losers. Regarding themselves as examples of what talent and ambition can achieve, they look at someone who spends their life in the classroom as lacking in drive and imagination, and therefore undeserving in having a voice in shaping the way we train the next generation of citizens and workers. Whether or not they will say this in their speeches, they certainly say it to one another, in their private meetings, and high powered policy seminars. It is why the only teacher training organization they really trust is Teach for America, because that organization shares their view that really talented people would only remain a teacher as a passage to a more rewarding career. Unless you understand this-- you will never understand why editorial writers, television personalities, corporate leaders, and elected officials systematically exclude teachers voices, and why the policies they ultimately support prove disastrous on the ground. Every section of the American Elite is poisoned with a fatal arrogance, and getting through to them with sound arguments is well nigh impossible. They only understand and respect power.


Holly said...

This should inspire more teachers to run for public office. We need more teachers on local school boards, and in state legislatures.

Pogue said...

I love this post and agree fully. We are looked down upon, given little to no respect, and are trampled upon through one destructive educational policy after another.

Great piece.

paulvhogan said...

I see it as contempt that the post-60's era ethos has for the egalitarian/humanitarian ideals of those who came before. There were two things that motivated me vocationally post-college in the mid-seventies. The desire to get myself into a job/career that offered a degree of autonomy and creativity was one. An abiding distrust of the evils and horrors of hierarchy and self-consituted authority... essentially a carryover from the Vietnam genocide,,, was the other. I was far from alone in harboring these sentiments. That mindset was the rule, not the exception , for that generation.

Bill Gates ( a year younger than I) was in the Boston-Cambridge era in the early 70's and was regarded as an anomaly because while his fellow tech-nerds were inventing and experimenting... they were also *SHARING*. The forever-anal Gates "freaked-out" ( to use the vernacular of that era) and was running around Boston-area techie circles threatening people with law-suits and yelling about patents. It "wasn't cool" said the 1973 hippie-dippie version of the monster he was to become, to just use someones stuff w/o paying for it.

This was just so far out of the mindset of that era...esp. in that particular geographic setting... that Gates was regarded w. a mixture of horror and amusement.

jcg said...

I've wondered as well that this deep, underlying contempt for teachers is a class & gender issue. Many teachers in the 1970's & 1980's came from the ranks of blue-collar, black, or first generation college educated. Education was a traditionally female profession so it attracted more women from similar economic & demographic backgrounds.

Businessmen have traditionally held in contempt those job holders in low-paying positions (e.g. female & blue-collar). That ethos parallels a similar one held by USA's landed gentry. Hence the high pay & prestige of medicine (not nursing), law (not court clerks), business/finance - all male dominated and whose opportunities for advancement are confined to those of the landed gentry.