Real people Real Experiences

The value of silence


I’m a political animal, and wear my allegiances on my sleeve.

I’m usually pretty clear about how I feel, although I’ve been very hesitant to proffer an opinion on the teachers strike in West Virginia.

I do believe that the teachers are underpaid. I do believe the Senate president who doubted where the governor would come up with $58 million dollars (not a trifling sum in West Virginia with 1.8 million residents) was correct in making sure that this was not grandstanding that would damage the financial standing of the state.

There is no right or wrong. This is a highly complex issue.

But how do I feel about the strike? How do I feel about an education system designed from top to bottom for the teachers? How do I feel about the legislature being so spineless that the best they can do is mandate how many days each school year will have as opposed to what they will accomplish? About a billing system that became higher educations de-facto standard on what you know?

The ultimate metric of success is not survival. It is did you get anything done.

It is NOT about checking the box. It is NOT about putting your child’s butt in a seat for 180 days. It is NOT about 6 credit hours of 200 level english.

The measure is did the student LEARN anything. It is NOT about teaching. It is about learning.

I was taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

The system is impossibly screwed from top to bottom. Many quality, nice people I know are teachers. They are exceptional individuals. At some level, they know this as well.

Commenting on the strike is the intellectual equivalent of “hold my beer and watch this”.

OK, in my case it’s “Hold my scotch and watch this”

It is why I don’t.

The Dali Lama said “Silence is sometimes the best answer”

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