The school year starts back in one week, and it’s a flurry of activity to prepare for students returning to school, especially in The Age of The Virus. I’m slowly readjusting to returning to work on a daily basis, after enjoying the short-lived fantasy life of summer.
It’s going to be a difficult transition with all the new Virus-related restrictions, which I will write about more this weekend. “Culture shock” is probably the best term for it. Enforcing mask-wearing, constant cleaning between classes, and other new protocols are going to be an additional, wearying task atop the many others teachers and students are already required to navigate.
I’ve written quite a bit about education over the past year, especially as the last academic year was particularly trying. The posts featured below were all written before that difficult year, which really affected some of my attitudes and personal theories about teaching. The profession is not getting any easier, and with the latest revival of woke social justice, it’s also getting less tolerable ideologically.
This week’s TBT is, as far as I can recall, a first: I’m throwing back to an old Lazy Sunday. This one is pretty meaty, as it links to quite a bit of my writing about education.
With that, here is August 2019’s “Lazy Sunday XXIV: Education“:
The school year is back in full swing, and I am already beat. It looks like it’s going to be a good year, and I have some very bright students, but my teaching load is substantially busier than last year, and my private lesson empire continues to grow. Those are all blessings, but it means a lot more work for yours portly.
That’s all to say that I thought this Sunday’s edition of Lazy Sunday would be perfect for looking back at my education-related posts:
- “Lincoln on Education” – a little post consisting of remarks I made to the Florence County (SC) Republican Party back in September 2018 (actually, it may have been October—one of my “Historical Moments” was skipped in the program accidentally, so I reused it the following month). I looked at the education—and the views thereon—of President Abraham Lincoln. He was an avid learner, and saw education as the means by which he could improve himself. Apparently, it worked!
- “Teachers Quitting in Record Numbers – Reflections on Education” – this lengthy post outlines my own observations about why teachers quit the profession—and some of its major problems. My main idea was “flexibility”: in pay, in lesson plans, and in certification. Public education is a great deal for bad teachers—they coast along, cashing a paycheck no matter how well they do—but a poor one for good teachers. Private education is great, but it can’t compete, at least in the rural South, with public education in terms of teacher pay and benefits.But the biggest concern is what I elegantly dubbed “administrative bullcrap.” Teachers get loaded down with all of these duties that are only distantly related to their alleged jobs: molding young minds.
- “The State of Education” – this post details the travails of a New York City French teacher, a good teacher whose experiences in multiple schools illustrate how public education is a bad gig for good teachers. The stories are jaw-dropping, but hardly surprising now: zero administrative support for discipline, a “talent show” that nearly devolves into a sweaty orgy, violent outbursts from animalistic students, etc. Terrifying stuff.
- “Sailer and Spotted Toad on Education” – this post was a bit “meta”—it’s an overview of a review of a book. That makes my post tertiary commentary at best. The post looks at demographer Steve Sailer’s review of blogger Spotted Toad’s book 13 Ways of Going on a Field Trip: Stories about Teaching and Learning a narrative memoir detailing Toad’s decade teaching in public schools in the Bronx. I’ve picked up the book but still haven’t read it (I’m working through Milo’s Middle Rages: Why the Battle for Medieval Studies Matters to America; review coming soon), but it looks to be an interesting read.
- “SubscribeStar Saturday: The State of Education Update” – this post is an update of “The State of Education,” written nearly on the eve of my return to this present school year. As a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive, you’ll have to subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more to read it. Tantalizing, no?
So, there you have it. Now to fulfill my obligation to my wonderful SubscribeStar subscribers and get their delayed post done.
Happy School Year!