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Re: [eddra] Algebra

Rick Parkany wrote:

> Why, for *rockin' the boat!*, what else??? Petty behind the
> scenes *schmoozin'*, *backbiting*, local politics/social pecking
> orders, and all the rest of the human condition are just as much
> or more determinators of *job security* in this profession than
> are ability and/or *results*...is it any different in your
> profession? I hope so...
> (snip)
> No. folks, I've ruined various careers in a number of fields for
> naively or stubbornly, depending, doing the right thing.
> Is it just me, or is it always hot *in here*? ;-} rap.

Hey, Rick,

remember the "famous" saying from the Vietnam era, "in order to save the
village we had to destroy it" and also the Biblical warning what good it
could be to save the whole world but lose your own soul?

What kind of career is it if you spend time sucking up in order to "have
freedom?" My experience in government, business and education, has been
somewhat different. I make clear up front what I believe. I respect that
hose with responsibility have a certain amount of legitimate authority, but
that does not grant them the right to violate the rights of others. I have a
habit of being the one who will consistently speak up, even on behalf of
others, when my own neck is not directly on the block.

Have I lost promotions and opportunities because of this? Yep, but then I
could look myself in the mirror when I still shaved (I do have a beard

Of far greater importance, as a teacher I was modeling for my students what I
believed they should learn - that you must be willing to take risks for that
in which you believe. As a history teacher, how can I justify to them the
actions of Freedom Riders and those who participated in sit-ins, and yet
myself remain silent?

There is a fairly well-know book, by a woman named Marcia Sinetar, called "Do
what you love, the money will follow."

I am a teacher for far less money that I made even as a government civil
servant. I am a teacher because I want to make a difference. How can I be
making a difference when I cow-tow in order to achieve "tenure" (which
incidentally, we do not have under Virginia law).

I can't tell you how to live your life. I will say that when you know your
rights and can quote them, when you have developed good personal
relationships with influential people, when you have the support of
articulate parents, and when first and foremost you do a good job as a
teacher (even if a tight-ass department chair doesn't agree), then perhaps
one can feel more free or at least better about "doing the right thing."

BTW - I'm new in both my school and my district this year. That means I
have no protection of tenure, or as they say in Virginia, I'm not on a
continuing contract status. So what? If I can't teach and act as I believe
is best for my students, why in God's name should i be sacrificing my income
and financial stability? perhaps it helps that I know i can go get a job in
another filed, make even more, with very little notice. Perhaps it also
helps that I am in an area with a huge shortage of teachers, even for social
studies, so that if one district didn't want me, I can be pretty sure I could
find work in another - after all, DC is desperate. Perhaps it helps that I
know how to make my voice heard through the press.

But what the heck - if you want to be a teacher, teach!@!! , if what you
are doing is looking out over your shoulder, you are not teaching. Are there
risks? George S surely knows there are. But if one is ding the right thing,
you'd be surprised how much support you can get.


Ken Bernstein - like you, no tenure and working on a doctorate.

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