Op-Ed: What happens when public schools lose students?
The New York Times published an opinion piece last weekend that asked, “What does a teacher do when the students stop showing up?” The answer, of course, is “you fire them”.
This is what we’ve always called a “crisis,” the kind that’s been around for centuries and is only now becoming more critical to our economy, our society, and our political agenda.
But what is it really like?
At this point, it’s almost hard to imagine teachers, in general, having so much at stake. Our labor rights are on the line when it comes to our jobs. We depend critically on our unions. In the last few months, we’ve lost teachers to the other side, to companies that are more concerned with shareholder rights than the education of our students.
And right now, we’re losing another way of life as well. Kids may be going to college, but we’re leaving teachers behind.
These are tough, tough times for teachers. It’s hard to imagine that even these tough times make us more secure. It makes us more desperate. It makes us more afraid. To make a long story short, it makes us angry.
Now, I’m no psychologist, but I think it’s possible that if we could spend a few minutes with an angry teacher, we’d see something that we’re totally unaware of.
What would anger look like for a teacher?
You know, anger is a natural emotion. But it’s only one emotion. It’s not the only emotion in the world.
Anger is a big deal. Anger is a life-or-death emotion, but it’s also a very dangerous emotion.
You don’t need me to tell you what a big deal anger is.
It’s in the top 3 of the list of things that would make most people really angry. It’s in a pretty short list. Anger is a basic feeling that’s present when you feel wronged. You feel like someone’s done something wrong when you find yourself in an argument, in a fight, in a disagreement or even just after a setback in your life.
This is what anger looks like.