The School Year in Review

flamethrower commons

Never Quite Confirmed New Mexico PED Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera is Seen Here Destroying  the Village To Save It

So, the school year that was 2013-2014 is now over.  What did we learn about ourselves, our kids and our K-12 educational system this year?  Like all teachers, these questions are rolling around like a very spiky goathead through my noggin this Memorial Day Weekend.

What just happened?  How can we make sure it never happens again?  How can we make sure we don’t continue to literally kill ourselves physically/mentally/emotionally dealing with it happening, if it does happen again?

Perhaps most important is this question:  Was this the furthest swing of the ever-swinging educational pendulum?  Have we just experienced Vietnam ’68, or are we only in Vietnam ’62?  Because if it’s the latter, all that literally kill ourselves stuff is going to happen on a carpet-bombing, napalm-esque basis.

Ergo, the optimist I am, I’m going with Vietnam ’68, and that Skandera is much more LBJ than Nixon here.  Okay, maybe that’s too optimistic, and, besides, I think we all agree we’re headed for four more years of Susana Martinez (i.e., the true Nixon).  C’mon, I might be optimistic, but I’m not entirely insane.  At least not yet.

But back to the school year and away from extremely dubious political analogies.  What happened?  Well, Teachscape happened and every NM teacher/administrator’s soul was consumed in a flurry of outrageously bad stock photos and uninformative “information.”  Everyone of us was faced with increased scrutiny by the only bureaucratic entity in the world more dysfunctional and inept than the Albuquerque Public Schools.  Each of us became even more of a testing gigolo, whoring the “importance” of such eternally vital concepts as “passive voice” and “subjunctive mood.”

But now we’re done and spending this holiday weekend scrubbing ourselves obsessively, bleeding in an attempt to effectively wash all this scum off.  Cue Lady Macbeth and Karen Silkwood.  And while I’m sitting out on the front porch pretending to watch the shimmering cottonwood leaves in the early morning breeze, I’m instead actually just recovering as I stare blankly in that direction.  Maybe one of these days soon I’ll actually be able to “see” those shimmering leaves.

Given school year 2013-2014, it’s gonna take a while.



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