Audrey’s outrage at being ‘snookered’ by the loonies is probably a distant second to her outrage at being exposed as complicit in the sellout of her members.
But it’s not her discomfort I care about…it’s the emotion of outrage that I want to highlight.
We need a membership that’s outraged. Maybe a theme song: Let’s Get Livid (to the tune of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy(?)).
72% of the NEA need to get livid.
What’ll it take?
For Audrey, it took embarrassment. Her prestige and effectiveness took a hit. That’s selfish.
Selfishness can trigger outrage. Bigtime.
But here’s the problem. Teachers aren’t selfish, at least not as a group. In fact, they’re selfless to a fault. Growing new generations requires a near saintly selflessness.
That’s why teachers abide low pay, reduced pensions, etc. They are more concerned with their work.
And that’s the key.
There’s a good percentage of that 72% who would respond like mother bears if they could see that their ability to do the good work of a democracy, the development of literate and caring citizens was a target of the right as well.
The great educator, Nel Noddings, talks about schools as communities of caring. She has even suggested that caring be the focus of the curriculum.
It’s ideas like this that are at risk. It’s the shape of our curriculum and the fabric of our communities that’s under the gun.
The trusting 72 would be a force. Their sense of stewardship would be aroused if our leadership could only articulate that the stakes are much higher than selfish considerations.
But with folks like Audrey, perhaps, selfishness is all they understand. Or maybe that’s too harsh; maybe, they just don’t get it.
Teachers are stewards of schools.
Schools build caring communities.
Schools are under attack.
Let’s Get Livid.