A reader responds to another post:
I agree we need to do all of what you say, god knows I do, but I’m worried that we may exchange the support we give to each other and ourselves for a quiet waiting, a further hunkering down. Make no mistake, teaching is a gender issue for all of us as well as anything else. We are in a classic abusive relationship with ed deform. Most of us are women, and we are being treated in a traditionally determined way because of it. We are being treated like children: told what to do, how to think, our professional lives run from the top, told to “shut up and teach.”
This year, the state I teach in underwent the most devastating pension theft in the country. There were groups that escaped unscathed:judges, correctional officers, and state police. The word was that the legislature couldn’t pass the “reforms” if they angered these male dominated groups. So, of course, who bore the brunt of the theft? Teachers and state worker were the target–women and low wage workers.
This is a fight. This is a time for being a “bad ass,” not in the classroom like some militaristic charters, but outside the classroom, where the battles are taking place. We as a predominately female profession, we cannot continue to make nice with our enemies. We can’t be the nurturer outside our classroom walls. It’s way too late for collaboration, sucking up, keeping our heads down, and getting along.
What should we do and how should we do it? I don’t know. What I do know is that what we are doing now isn’t working. The enemy is at the gate, and we are still trying to figure out what to do. They are attacking and we are talking.