Let’s just say it. Bullies are alive and well in our schools. They often call themselves administrators. They are not in all schools, but in many of them. They’ve been doing it for a long time. They are not always white men – there are women bullies too. And not always white, either, but you get my point.
Many of us don’t even know about these people. We have become conditioned to them. All we know is that there is something wrong in our buildings but we often feel powerless to do anything about it. Worse, we blame ourselves for not being able to measure up to the demands of a leadership culture that has it wrong.
So now for a morning prayer on this topic:
Dear Lord –
Please help us to see what is happening. Please take the wool from our eyes and help us to stop being sheep in our buildings, afraid of offending the bullies who run our schools now in a way that no bullies have run schools in the history of education. Help us stand up for ourselves.
Help us not judge them and their motives, as You have taught us, for we all only know what they have grown up with – the snake-like unspoken notion that somehow white men, older white men and the women and others who work with them, know better than we do what is best for our students.
They don’t, and we are now poised and ready, if You help us, to take back the power that is rightfully ours as the people who are actually in the classrooms with our kids, and the people who are doing the hard digging into the research so that we can finally teach in the way we know in our hearts is the best way.
Help us thereby kill the cash cow of testing, as soon as possible.
Help us remove the burden that the bullies have put on everything we do, now as their grip on power over us and what we do in our classrooms loosens, just as the grip of a person hanging on the edge of a cliff loosens.
May the bullies metaphorically fall to their deaths. It is because of their fall that we will now rise.
Their reign is over. The reign of the teacher can now begin anew, as it has in past historical periods, but went away for so many years.
Help us learn to be the heroes that You have patiently been waiting for us to become, so that we can make things right for our kids, not just in our foreign language classrooms but in all the other classrooms in our buildings.
Help us see that it is time now for this to happen, and that the waiting game is over. Help us see that now is time to act, since you have finally given us the weapon we need to act – comprehensible input language instruction.
You have given us the tool that we need to pull this off (literally pull the lid off) of all the bullshit in language education, including those strange-ass ESL teachers, by using the beautiful and wonderful and scary sand blaster that You have given us through Your servant Blaine – himself a white guy but not at all like the others – and whose time (CI), after 25 years of strange preparation and far too many faux experts, has come.
Help us now organize ourselves in a way that doesn’t rely on the false experts anymore. The proclamations of such people about their greatness at CI are not as true as they might have us believe, and many are motivated by the same demon that produced the white men monster “leaders” who have held sway over our society for so long – money.
Too many language teachers have been separated from their money and their time by those experts. So, help us organize now in smaller groups within our buildings and at the district level so that we don’t have to go to those costly and wasteful summer conferences that have left so many teachers cold and confused and dis-spirited and even less confident than when they were before they even heard about CI.
As your servant Mother Theresa has said about our organizing work that is going to happen now, on the local and regional levels instead of the national level that hasn’t worked:
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
All of language education these days is a big mess, a big wreck, and now it is time, with Your guidance, to start a new chapter or maybe a whole new book, by taking the hero’s journey [see link below], each one of us in our own way, that will release CI in our classrooms in ways that we haven’t yet been able to imagine. Of course, nothing happens without Your grace, so I’ll just add that last sentence on to this part of the prayer.
I defend the right of administrators to lead in the way they best see fit, but not at the EXPENSE OF CHILDREN, because they don’t really know about teaching languages, do they? You know they don’t, because You know everything.
Such people posture, they intimidate, they say that we must test and do this and that and they unnecessarily make us worry so much about the test scores and every day they put no small degree of fear into us to teach as they say.
However, it is we and not them who are the only ones who know that there is no one-size-fits-all way and no testing solution to our predicament. There is only one thing that counts with us if we are to reach our kids in the real way in our classrooms and that is by teaching using comprehensible input in a way that best fits our own personalities – which nobody in the CI world seems to be talking about.
So free us, oh Lord, from all the bullshit, all the fake leaders, all those pompous white men and the women who act like them, all those so-called building leaders who possess, let’s say the word, no small degree of narcissism in their shriveled hearts.
Let us find that the only real power that we will ever have as teachers will be the power that we quietly and undramatically take back from the bullies in our buildings over the next five to ten years, when things will all be new if we can only hold on to our faith both in You and in Your cool new idea, comprehensible input, which so rocks the house.
Note: f you really want to see how to overcome evil power in our schools, go watch this movie:https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=tanaji+film&&view=detail&mid=0F52A08EC632652FB5FE0F52A08EC632652FB5FE&rvsmid=6B0A3A08936F30DF68F36B0A3A08936F30DF68F3&FORM=VDQVAP