Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Teacher stories inspired me as a homeless child. They still inspire me 56 years later.


On the Facebook page of the Badass Teachers Association, Jessica a future teacher commented I hear so much negativity about teaching on this Facebook page. Tell me something good about teaching?
Jessica, at 66, I could not think of a more rewarding career. The pay is not great, the work is tough, but the stories keep me alive. I did not enter teaching blindly. I knew from the start it would be hard. I entered the profession on a mission to be different. School of Education of Kentucky Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig recently said if new teachers are mission-driven, they want to change the world. I chase this mission to bring joy, equity, and justice into my teaching and learning. Someday it looks like I am making some headway, and others that mission appears elusive at best. 

The stories keep me going, and if I had to start again, I would not change anything.
With that in mind, part of the stories that crush me is the stories of teachers being abused by failed education policies that demoralized them. So, part of my mission is standing with them, and that has become part of the stories that inspire me. Teachers inspired me as a homeless kid, and teacher stories inspire me still. 

On the night Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died he said:
“We’ve got some difficult days ahead,” Martin Luther King, Jr., told an overflowing crowd in Memphis, Tennessee, on 3 April 1968, where the city’s sanitation workers were striking. “But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land” 

Something in my bones tells me that there is a promised land for teachers and our good and tough stories lead the way. Come teach, for a while, a lifetime, and know that it is also fine to leave when you need to. If you stay? Know that staying requires a mission worthy of staying If you leave? Know that leaving requires a mission worthy of others to pick up. 

Every teacher new, old, retired, and in between is worthy of some teacher love,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
Uniting to Save Our Schools 
Proud Badass Teacher 

PS Future Teachers don't let our battle scared stories taint you, teaching takes a lot out of you, like all work it can wear you down, but it also gives in return. Teachers leave when they need to leave, and every teacher whether they are leaving or starting new deserves our respect. 

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my walk this morning? Its Public Enemy's "Don't believe the Hype"

"Don't believe the hype, its a sequel
As an equal, can I get this through to you
My 98's boomin' with a trunk of funk
All the jealous punks can't stop the dunk
Comin' from the school of hard knocks" 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Our History Teachers Made Sure We would Recognize that Nazis Playbook if it came around

I have seen this hater playbook before

I know why these new haters want to Ban books,
Burning Books,
Intimidate us,
Ban factual history,
Because it exposes,
Their hate,
Their twisted sense of freedom of speech silencing others.

We had history teachers that made sure we would recognize that Nazis playbook,
Made sure that we would face them head-on,
Made sure we would not be silent,
Made sure we would stand up when the time came.
History matters,
History teachers matter.

Because History Teachers matter,
People are standing up to hate,
I am standing up with our history teachers.

Bless by history teachers that matter,
Dr. Jesse. P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Proud Bad Ass Teacher

If you like to listen to the tune that I listened to on my morning walk today, it was the Beatles "Revolution"

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Missing in Action Good Stewards in our Public Schools


During the last twenty years it appears that high-stakes testing and school choice without equity policies driving education reform, and all they have achieved is demoralized teaching force, Common Core State Standards, and schools as racially segregated at before the landmark 1954 Brown vs the Board of Education ruling.  I find myself asking where are the good policymaker stewards speaking up and defending children, parents, teachers in communities of color? Where are the stewards asking the tough questions of why has nothing changed after spending nearly two trillion dollars on education reforms? When do we send stewards to speak with and deeply listen to our teachers, children, parents, and yes administrators? In my humble opinion our policymakers have not done what Massachusetts first Commissioner of Education Horace Mann did for six years on the job. Horace Mann visited every public school in his state, noted inequalities, listened, and engage educators and communities in discussion about the valued of public education. Who are our policymakers listening to? From my view it is CEOs, Non Educators, lobbyists, and publishers?

Understanding why teachers leave their chosen profession. Requires leadership seeing leadership that time and time again seeking to please CEOs. Not doing right by our children, teachers, and local community schools.

Good stewards are committed to selfless service. There is no desire for power. They do not need to be in charge or exert control over others. Everything about No Child Left Behind, Race To The Top, School Choice, and the closing of local community schools begs to ask the question; Where are the good stewards of public education? These education reforms are deeply rooted in power and control, and teachers fleeing are leaving because they reject being controlled.
I stand with these fleeing teachers,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Proud Badass Teacher

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my morning walk this morning, it's that classic Crosby, Stills and Nash "Teach Your Children"