Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Teachers as technicians

This was true a couple of years ago when this first appeared.
Getting too old to pretend anymore.

I hardly teach biology anymore--I teach sophistry. Learn the magic words, and the patterns among the magic words, and you are wise. 
        peptide bond
            phospholipid bilayer

I get paid reasonably well to do this, and so long as my students fill in the Holy Scantrons read by the Great Machine in Trenton, and so long as the pattern they create comes close enough to the patterns discerned as truth, my students are certified as worthy of participating on our new global workforce, machina ex deus.

If you never care to watch the stars move, you will never be more than a technician. That seems to be OK to just about everybody these days--technicians are a lot easier to manage than philosophers, and they're certainly easier to please.

And if I accept my role as just a 21st century teacher, delivering some bon mots to help my lambs pass the PARCC exam, then I will never be more than a technician, either.

The sun rests still in the sky for a few days, and the winter chill reminds those of us closer to our end than our beginning that maybe, just maybe, safety isn't the primary goal in a life that will certainly end in death.

Time to get moving.

It's really not all that complicated, this life/death thing. You are, and then you're not.

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