San Mateo Adult School staff show their support for public schoolteachers in Chicago.
All over California and all over the United States, public educators are being villianized.
Personally, I find it hard to believe that we are responsible for all the ills of this nation. That, of course, is my personal opinion.
But I am pretty much convinced that we are not responsible for the surge in childhood obesity, the collapse of Wall Street, obsession with celebrity, or global warming.
Most of us, in fact, want to educate people - young, old and in between - so that those people who have the talent to address those challenges have the skills to do so.
There's an old saying, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."
I don't mind that saying.
None of us can do everything.
What we in education strive to do is to empower those who can to do so.
But as in all endeavors that are essentially supportive, our participation in the result is invisible.
We appear to have no part in it.
We appear to have done nothing.
And yet, if you ask successful people what lies behind their success, you will often find out that education of some kind was a key part of it.
A good teacher, like a good gardener, produces great fruit, but does not him or herself appear for sale at the market.
Yet without the work of the teacher or gardener, there is no market.
Showing support is not only about standing up for each other.
It's about pulling back the curtain on success to reveal what lies behind it.
And very often what's behind it is good schooling.
Let's make sure that school remains accessible to all.
A privileged few may enjoy the fruits available only to them.
But those few may not have the talent to heal the scourge that may bring down the entire orchard.
The geniuses who have the talents to solve our current problems might not be enrolled at Harvard. They might be sitting in the kindergarten classroom of a school that's just been cut yet again, upping the class size and reducing the school year, eliminating PE, the arts, and music, and other programs that actuallly develop the brain. Or they may be learning English at an Adult School. Or getting their GED. Or studying at a community college.
Or not attending any school at all.
There's no substitute for good, accessible public education.
Show your support.
- Cynthia Eagleton
9/19/2012 - Here's a video about Chicago Teachers' Strike - which is now over.