How do you feel right now, as an employee? How do you feel about your boss, your colleagues, yourself? How do you feel about having to come back to the same place, the same people, the same chart, tomorrow? What are the chances you will turn things around tomorrow, or ever? What are the chances you will just figure out how to hang at “orange” and deal with the consequences and find ways to enjoy your 20 minute lunch with your orange friends? (I know you are smart enough to stay away from red, but orange is really not so bad, right…?)
If my boss were to hang a chart in the staff lounge, showing which teachers were doing an exceptional job each day, as well as those who were having exceptional-in-a-bad-way days, I would be furious. I would be raging about my privacy, my dignity, my right to be respected by my colleagues for the person I am, and to not be publicly labelled based on any given day. My personal growth is between me and my boss. It has no business being a public display. I don’t know any teacher who would disagree with this. My boss and I have private conversations, plans, and systems to foster my progress.
I updated “Mindset Marketing, Behaviorism, and Deficit Ideology” with selections from “PBIS is Broken: How Do We Fix It? – Why Haven’t They Done That Yet?”.
PBIS is Coercion
This is an argument usually used for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), but it applies to PBIS as well. Because PBIS emphasizes the use of tangible rewards and teacher praise to motivate “appropriate” behavior, it often escapes this description.
The overall focus of PBIS is obedience or compliance with rules leading to a reward. The flip side of that coin is there is a lack of rewards or outright punishment administered for noncompliance. The pressure of complying with this system turns kids into ticking time bombs. Having to focus on compliance with school-wide and classroom rules stresses kids out and causes them to enter a state of anxiety when they come to school. In fact, I have seen this escalate to the point the school building itself was a trigger for panic attacks.
And, take my word on this, no one can identify and rebel against an unfair system as efficiently as a kid or adult with ID, except perhaps an autistic person. They know the system is unfair!
Research is starting to show that Masking is a direct lead-in to the very early Autistic average age of death, something Autistic people (inc. yours truly) have been shouting about for a very long time. You can read about this research in my article an Autistic Burnout.
The rock pigeon was domesticated some 5000 years ago. Today’s city-dwelling pigeons are the feral ancestors of these domesticated birds. They are the ancestors of the pigeons that escaped. They are neither domesticated nor wild. They are – with apologies to Donna Haraway here – a companion species gone awry, a border creature that might mark its own and our own trainability, a reminder of what happens when our cyborg fantasies, despite their subversive theoretical promise, turn out to be quite submissive to the technologies of command and control.
Source: Losing Our Pigeons
It seems to me that a genuine, critically inclusive pedagogy strives for reception rather than appropriation, for radical openness rather than a quest for self-affirmation. If those are the goals we share, then it’s imperative we be mindful of the ways in which we frame our pedagogy. My own thought process has reached a place where “empathy” is too fraught a concept-especially in our current context-to entrust my pedagogical philosophy to. A pedagogy of care, on the other hand, welcomes students on their own terms, includes them for who they are, and-most importantly-commits us to doing the type of work to maintain that climate and approach.
Seeing others as full and complicated human beings should not require their resonance with some part of our own selves. We don’t need to become them, or think that they could become us. We simply need to care.
K-12 practitioners remain trapped in a hellish contradiction created by the cult of personality driving edu-gurus and gimmicks: Teachers are simultaneously posed as the singular and most important factor in student learning (a verifiable lie) and then treated as incompetent technicians.
Teachers need to be relieved of edu-gurus and gimmicks; they deserve professional experiences that include the time, support, and conditions that are conducive to what is best for each student taking a seat in any of their classrooms.
Teachers must not be reduced to technocrats, must not be compelled to be martyrs and missionaries.
If we can resist the allure of celebrity and cashing in, we must ultimately acknowledge the humanity of teachers and their students, while admitting the ugly influences of sexism and consumerism that too often trump our stated goals of democracy and equity.
Since ideas and ideologies played an especially important role in the Civil War era, American history textbooks give a singularly inchoate view of that struggle. Just as textbooks treat slavery without racism, they treat abolitionism without much idealism. Consider the most radical white abolitionist of them all, John Brown.
The treatment of Brown, like the treatment of slavery and Reconstruction, has changed in American history textbooks. From 1890 to about 1970, John Brown was insane. Before 1890 he was perfectly sane, and after 1970 he has slowly been regaining his sanity. Before reviewing six more textbooks in 2006-07, I had imagined that they would maintain this trend, portraying Brown’s actions so as to render them at least intelligible if not intelligent. In their treatment of Brown, however, the new textbooks don’t differ much from those of the 1980s, so I shall discuss them all together. Since Brown himself did not change after his death—except to molder more—his mental health in our textbooks provides an inadvertent index of the level of white racism in our society. Perhaps our new textbooks suggest that race relations circa 2007 are not much better than circa 1987.
I added Steven Universe’s “Let’s Only Think About Love” and Aurora’s “Queendom” to my Steven U. heavy “Inclusion Songs” playlist. This list lifts me after a day of self-advocacy.
I like the pairing of “Let’s Only Think About Love” and “Rainbow Connections”: two happy cry inducing gay weddings.
BTW, if you like Aurora, me too.
“Why am I so sure that I’d rather be this than everything I was supposed to be?” —Garnet
This interview with Rebecca Sugar is as emotionally rich as the show. I love Steven’s gender-expansive Universe.
Moving rendition of “Here Comes a Thought” at the end.
CW: assault, hate crime
We have a Constitutional crisis on our hands. This level of conspiracy, aided and abetted by a regime hostile to the United States and guilty of human rights abuses against its own people and neighbors, is unprecedented in the history of our country. Behaving otherwise is just another form of gaslighting.