Thursday 23 February 2012
So there’s this whole political squabble going on in Australia at the moment – as if you didn’t know. Poor ol’ Kevin, and poor ol’ Julia are set to go head to head for the final knock out bout over who should be Australia’s Prime Minister. And somewhere along the way, the politicians lost sight of one thing: they are our representatives, elected by the people (for the most part), to serve the people and govern our country. *Insert me laughing hysterically here*
Yeah, I know. It’s a joke, right? The pollies spend way too much time digging dirt, slinging mud, posturing, posing, and pimping themselves . . . at least that’s what it looks like to me. And when they don’t get their way, the dirtiest of dirty politics comes out, and people get stabbed in the back. What ever happened to honesty, respect, y’know, all that cool stuff? But the thing is, it’s not just politics that this happens in. Wow, what a segue way into my latest . . .
I’m at a meeting yesterday morning. A performance management meeting, which, by and large, aren’t that bad if your boss is a reasonable person, and mine is. We had a great discussion about my professional duties, and for the most part, it was a positive meeting where we had the opportunity to discuss some things that I think need to be implemented in our work environment. The best past of the meeting came when my boss said he wants to sit down with me and have a further discussion about something that I’m interested in, and that he thinks our workplace needs to head towards if we’re going to stand up and be seen by the greater community. And, if things work out the way the both of us are hoping, my duties and my role at work will extend beyond the chalkface. I won’t say any more than that at the moment, other than to add that I’m really excited. And I haven’t been this excited about my job in years.
But, and there’s always a but as a dear friend mentioned earlier this week, while 95-98% of the meeting was awesome, there was 2-5% that, in my eyes, sucked. It was covered in my boss’ opening statement to me, and then littered throughout the hour long meeting. Why did I mention Kevin and Julia? Well, I kinda understand what Kevin’s going through at the moment.
You go to work. You do your job, and regardless of how much you like it, you do it bloody well. But, see . . . there it is again . . . there’s always someone, or a small group made up of a few someones, who just want/need/have to stick it to you. They feel, I don’t know, I wanna say ‘entitled’ to screw you over, or at the very least, make life difficult and uncomfortable for you.
And it started with the comment, ‘…and some of the members of the board and/or council said she’s been here three years now, maybe it’s time we went back to (insert other subject here) because we don’t actually know what she does.’ The boss’ reply was something along the lines of ‘that’s fine if you want to pursue that option, but don’t forget about the cost involved’, to which someone asked ‘what cost?’. The boss replied, ‘The cost is Danielle.’ Apparently no one really gives a toss about the human cost of reverting back to a subject that the very same group of people spent all those years complaining about.
Ah, you can’t please everyone, can you? Complained about the other subject and provider. Complaining about my subject and I. And not once has anyone bothered to come and have a look at what I do. However, it is now up to me, to ‘raise my profile, and that of my subject’ so that people know what I do. My job to raise awareness. I have to do that work. So this year, instead of putting all my focus on educating, as I do every year that I work, I have to split my focus between educating, and posturing, posing, and pimping my subject and myself.
Out of that, I have two questions: 1) Why can’t teaching be about teaching? and 2) At what cost to the booger eaters, will this posturing, posing, and pimping be? Education should never be about the high profile, attention-seeking of the teacher. It is about the booger eaters. Aren’t they the important factor in the education equation? Why should my face and reputation be plastered all over the place in an attempt to justify and save my job, so that I can be gainfully employed next year? And if you really want to know what I do, come and ask me. Take the initiative and come and sit in on a class. But don’t expect that I split my focus to appease you, or spend my time shouting from the highest point of the building, ‘Hey, this is what I do’, because I know what comes next here. And it goes along the lines of, ‘Wow, Danielle is a show off. Always pimping out her subject. Everywhere you turn, there she is selling herself and her subject like a two bit hooker on a street corner.’
Well, let me tell you something . . . I might be easy to get along with at work; I might look and behave younger than I am; you might think that what I teach is meaningless and a waste of time; and I might not say a lot when you disrespect me to my face and behind my back, but I kick ass at what I teach; the booger eaters like my lessons; there are a lot of skills that booger eaters get out of my lessons; my lessons make a difference to the kids who are not as confident or outgoing as others, or who don’t get along with other educators, and they know they’re safe in my classes from ridicule, and bullying; and if you continue to push me, I will fight back, and you won’t like it. My opinions are worth as much as yours. My arguments are well considered. I have good ideas that would do wonders for our working community if you’d bother to consider them in the manner that you consider your own sparks of genius. And just because I sit quietly up the back or off to the side, doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on, and which of you think I’m far less worthy than you.
And to you people, I say, you might be very sorry that you want me to justify my professional existence to you, because I can sure as hell pimp myself better than all of you put together. Then we’ll see who has to justify their job.