Monday, February 18, 2013

Prepare to be Assimilated

"We are the Borg.
Lower your shields and surrender your ships. 
We will add your biological and technological
distinctiveness to our own.
Your culture will adapt to service us.
Resistance is futile." (Star Trek: First Contact, 1996)

I'm really not a Star Trek fan, but I have known enough at different stages of my life that I know the about the Borg.

One morning after a faculty meeting, I was reflecting on how much we are run from the top down in our district and how much that is increasing.  My principal led the meeting, but it was clear that she was reading a script prepared from the administration.  I started thinking about how often lately she has to read from the script they provide.  I am glad that I made the decision twelve years ago not to become a principal. I hate reading scripts.

We took a decision-making survey that we take every year to evaluate our building culture and ability to work together.  This year two areas were deleted by upper administration: vision and professional development.  (I thought without vision, the people perish.)  These areas are now decided by district, so we don't have to decide.

I've stopped complaining about our erratic heating system that is so dysfunctional, it was louder than the students on the playground.  I bring layers to school, because I never know what the climate will be like in my room.  Oh, it's centrally controlled off-site at (you guessed it) administration.

We are being told about the importance of a guaranteed curriculum.  We are all given the same box of materials and a pacing calendar.  Be on page 278 by March 8.  So many talented teachers I know are feeling less successful, and they don't feel they have permission to teach the way they believe.

Here is my new creed:

We are individuals.  We will not surrender our individual minds and creativity.  We will add our talents to the mix while keeping our uniqueness.  We will serve our communities with thoughtful intent.  We will resist futility.


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