Sunday, January 24, 2010
Pickpockets vs Stormtroopers
Let’s suppose that you’re watching a parade. Suddenly, you notice that someone has liberated you of your wallet. A blankety blank blank pickpocket has stolen your grocery money, your rent money. You imagine all the things you would like to do to the creep if you could just lay your hands on him. People like you should be protected from people like that. Where’s a cop when you need one?
Thank God you can turn to your brother, sister, best friend: your entire support network will get you through this. They haven’t been pickpocketed, but if it ever does happen to one of them, you’ll be there to help. Your bad experience with a petty thief is your individual problem, and you can solve it as an individual.
Now let’s suppose that the parade you’re watching is Hitler’s Stormtroopers marching into Poland. You’ve still got the same problem—no money for groceries and rent--but the army marching past you makes that problem look like the Empire State Building on a satellite photo. In other words, from that perspective, it’s so small you can’t see it. Soon you and your whole support network could lose all your property and be on a train headed for a concentration camp. Or perhaps, you might be drafted into Hitler’s army and eventually freeze to death somewhere in Russia. Or you might get blown to smithereens by an Allied bomb. This is not an individual problem, and you can’t solve it as an individual.
Mayor Bloomberg marched into the New York Board of Education in 2002. He let it be known that while MOST teachers were good, hard-working professionals, there was a small number who should be removed. Of course, every teacher including myself, could think of a few that really shouldn’t be in the classroom. They were the pickpockets that spoiled every parade. The emphasis, however, was always on the word THEY. It was always someone else who didn’t belong in the classroom.
Then, back in 2005, I received my first U-rated observation. The message was loud and clear. I was one of the teachers—the small number of teachers—who didn’t belong in the classroom. I was one of the pickpockets. That’s when I started this blog. I argued, I wrote lengthy responses to letters in my file, and I grieved in more ways than one. All to no avail. When I refused to leave quietly, the letters in my file got more frequent and the charges became more and more serious.
I just got an e-mail from a very nice person advising me that on Monday night on channel 2 Pablo Guzman will be interviewing two very nice people, David Pakter and Joy Hochstadt, about Bloomberg’s Rubber Rooms. In a flyer that I am supposed to print and post there is a phrase that says, “While a small number of teachers should be removed, most teachers ended up there because…”
So, a small number of people in a crowd are probably up to no good and should be removed, but the majority are law-abiding citizens. What the hell, does that have to do with the fact that the Stormtroopers are marching into town? What the hell, does Mr. Ditto have to do with the fact that Mayor Bloomthug is dismantling the public educational system of the City of New York in order to funnel 17 billion dollars a year of public funds into his own hands and those of his thug friends with no public oversight?
Stop talking about the pickpockets, people, the Stormtroopers are here.
FAIR WARNING: Do you still want to talk to me about Mr. Ditto and how much better you are than he--or me? Go ahead, make my day, asshole.