Activism is something that isn’t earned or a promotion. It isn’t glorious and full of fame and fortune. It can be ugly at times and downright depressing. It requires your time and patience. True activism is voluntary. It isn’t selfish or part of an agenda. It just is. Because you believe in something so strongly you will do what it takes to make sure people listen. It isn’t violent.
For years now I’ve been pointing out what is wrong in education from my viewpoint. Sometimes I feel like many have heard. Other times, like no one heard. I’ve met people from all walks of life during this journey. There are times when it can be the loneliest experience in the world. Other times I am beyond grateful for the support from others. I do all of this for the greater good.
The greater good is something you feel will benefit humanity as a whole. If I write about an elected official or a state employee, it is based on what they bring forth in education. If it is about a face behind a company, I am less merciful most of the time. If I agree, I praise it to the high heavens. If I disagree, watch out. I tend to disagree a lot. I sincerely hope the people I disagree with know this is a very gray area when it comes to what I write. I feel I have to question motivations based on what I know. Because if I don’t, who will? That may sound arrogant and cocky, but coming forth with something education related is going to make me question where it is coming from. And half of that search is in the timing. Timing is everything as they say. I fully own this and accept it. I also understand it will make people think twice in communicating with me. I’ve seen this frequently. And I’m okay with that.
Some have basically said I’m a grenade launcher and blow up everything in my path. What they don’t realize is the path is already cloudy and murky. You can’t see the forest from the trees. I throw grenades to clear the landscape. So that after the smoke clears, we see what is really there. It is frequently ugly. But I would rather know what I’m facing than not. I’ve learned that what most people hear isn’t the same thing as the truth. I don’t see myself as an “education thought partner”. I don’t do this so I can sit at a table, sing “Kumbaya”, and go along to get along. If you see me as a partner, it is only because you think you can mold me. You can’t. I see myself as an “education truth seeker”. I’m the one up on the roof shaking the place and letting the dust fall so people start taking off their masks. I will be brutally frank here: there is some truly nasty shit coming up in education that will leave parents shaking their head as their students are turned into drones for the workforce. It is happening now, right before your eyes. And you don’t see it. This isn’t even about saving what came before in America. It is about preserving what is left. I don’t mind change unless it is good change. But to get there, you have to make calls at times.
I fully understand many people are unwitting pawns in all this. A slight whisper, a few words, and boom: they got you! So what do I do? I call the unwitting pawn out. I let them know exactly what I think is going on and why they are doing it. The hope is they realize they are being used and snap out of it. That doesn’t happen often. So I keep doing it.
Sometimes you have to do things for the greater good. Sometimes it isn’t pretty. Sometimes it hurts people’s feelings. Get over it. It IS about the kids.