Being renewed for another school year really turned into a Lazarus type experience for me. It’s like the U.S. goal against Algeria in the last added minutes of their last first round World Cup game. The first school year ended with so many emotions that it feels almost odd to consider going back a couple months from now and start doing it all over again. It’s not fun to be a the bottom of the totem pole. It’s not fun to be anywhere on the totem pole when it comes to layoffs, I’ve realized. I hear about hundreds of teaching jobs being cut in some districts, or entire schools being closed down, and it seems just crazy. How can we not have money for schools? How can we not have money for education? How can we talk so freely from both sides of our mouths and not see the irony of it?
The economy being terrible only means so much; it’s definitely not the end all be all argument that its become. I’m sick of people using that as an excuse. Where there’s a will there’s a way. It’s all about what you value and care about, and education is something people think they should value, and say vocally that they value, but it’s obviously not anywhere near the top on most people’s value scales. The goals of education are too abstract and long-term to be of much value on the economic spectrum. The goals of education are deemed more personal than social, though that’s far from the truth. Those two things together make it almost impossible for people to grasp how detrimental it is to not care about education.
I’ve started hearing talk about school cuts and teacher cuts that make it sound as though it’s a given, like nothing else can be done. That’s something that up to this point I haven’t had too much contact with, and it’s depressing to hear and be around. I’m happy to be going back, but I’m scared about what my future in education will look like.