I Am a Proud Member of Educators 4 Excellence
As a K-12 teacher, I believe that this country’s education system is sorely in need of reform, and leaders like Evan Stone, Sydney Morris,and Ama Nyamekye are leading the push to reform education through grassroots political organization designed to mitigate the impediments to a successful education system, and they are doing so all while dressed in the latest fashions straight from the Kohl’s clearance rack.
Let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself and how I became an E4E member.
I first went into teaching after being rejected from or failing out of nearly every other college major. So after many false-starts and blundering attempts, I found my way into a college of education, where things were considerably easier. I also don’t hate kids that much, and a steady paycheck with summers off was definitely attractive.
My first two years in the classroom were pretty uneventful, apart from some commotion over a lesson I taught on the Holocaust. Boy, you don’t know how narrow minded old-fashioned school administrators can be when it comes to implementing innovative learning practices in the classroom. Too often, they just don’t get it, you know?
I mean, I didn’t think I pushed that kid into the wall very hard—he was just being a pussy about the whole thing. I was simply demonstrating how the Nazis treated Jews during their periodic roundups. And furthermore, would it have made any sense for this demonstration if I didn’t pick the kid wearing the Yamaka? But try telling that to a fumilnating district superintendent and a coterie of very vocal mothers from the local Jewish community center.
And this was after I had apologized! I didn’t really mean to chip his tooth during the demonstration, but that’s just the kind of dedication inherent in my methods. Admittedly, I may also have been a little drunk, as this was an afternoon class and I enjoy a stiff drink with lunch. But I’ll tell you what, you can bet that those kids never forgot that lesson! And do I get any credit for that? Heck no! At least, not until I became a member of Educators for Excellence and discovered a community of like-minded educators.
Because that’s exactly what E4E is about: supporting great teachers in their quest to innovate instruction. Every day students are counting on us to get it right, and that work begins today. Or yesterday. I’m not sure what day it is because I took some expired Xanax a few nights ago, but rest assured we’re working very hard on behalf of students.
That is why I became an E4E member. Everyone at E4E has been so receptive of my stories, including how I taught a lesson on Jim Crow by having the black students sit in the back of the classroom and empty the trash and wash the chalkboard at the end of class. Sure, I didn’t have to make them do this for 3 ½ months, but students don’t learn a lesson in just one day! Repetition is key, and both the white and black students learned a valuable lesson, namely that my classroom could be both the cleanest and the most fun room in the school!
Of course, by the end of my second year, I also got into a little bit of trouble on Twitter. Go figure. In this day and age, I challenge anyone to avoid saying, texting or posting something that couldn’t, when taken out of context, be considered as lacking in propriety or described as “distasteful” and “offensive” by uptight school officials.
But that is exactly the sort of witch hunt to which I was subjected after I happened to post a harmless photograph of myself on a beach during my recent European vacation. It was a beautiful shot of the Mediterranean at sunset, and like I told my school administrators, everyone on the beach was naked! But a few yippy parents can make a mountain out of a molehill, I guess.
When I came to E4E and described how I had been unjustly laid off due to my district’s “first in, first out” layoff policy, they suggested that I join their policy team that was presently engaged in developing a white paper precisely on this issue. Well, you can bet that I did, and I found this to be an extremely productive experience.
Pretty soon I was working with E4E on all kinds of cool projects, like how to improve first year teachers’ experience by providing more “resources” in the form of Jack Daniels and Smirnoff. These policy teams are really where E4E shines. I was totally impressed with the organization and the diligence of all of my fellow E4E teacher attendees.
I was pretty drunk so I can’t recall any specifics, but I’m pretty sure I saw Ama push Evan against the wall during a heated exchange about whether or not Evan had brought enough Diet Coke to the meeting. I don’t blame her, though. Evan’s kind of a pussy.
I and some of the other teachers made it through those long, sometimes tedious hours by taking to the bathroom for swigs from Mark’s bottle of Jack Daniels and a few lines from Beth’s coke stash, to say nothing of some other extracurricular engagements.
I’ve actually hooked-up with quite a few fellow members in the restrooms at E4E policy team meetings. And let me tell you, those women may dress like frumpy post-menopausal librarians, but when their Coldwater Creek floral-print dresses come off, they shed their modesty and quickly become like uninhibited Kardashian sisters. The hot ones—not Khloe. I’ve never been that desperate.
Anyway, all in all the policy meetings are great fun, and they remind me of why I became a teacher in the first place. That is why I am recommending that you also become an E4E member and sign their pledge today! And if you’re not a teacher, you can also register as an education supporter and profess your support for our venerable organization.
As a member you’ll be able to participate in online surveys, and you can even sign up to attend some great networking events in your area! Hope to see you there!