In 2012 I began a blog by this title but did not pursue it. The name had been inspired by a few of us laboring in an urban high school in a still somewhat posh neighborhood that was hated by the district administrators who remembered getting hand-me-down textbooks from the school. That was in 1986 or 87. We invented our 12 Steps for Recovery. And we made our jokes in order to keep our heads up.
Since then I see the name has caught on. I counted over a dozen Teachers Anonymous sites during a recent web search. I also found an Academics Anonymous for college profs (they are always a separate entity). The erosion of dignity, freedom and respect has reached there too.
There is so much enormous misunderstanding, so much uninformed slander, and so many teachers who just want to know that they are not crazy for thinking what they are going through is real or that they are the only ones, that here I’m letting it all loose!
This blog is for all the outrageous and insulting practices that I suffered in education. And I welcome true stories of other educator’s injustices! The Union didn’t tell the whole story. The legislators and corporations didn’t know the whole story. And the parents and students definitely didn’t know the whole story. With the over 30-year attack on public education, it’s time that teachers stood up here, because they were too demoralized or exhausted to say a word when they leave work at the end of the day!
Here is the record of the progressive erosion of any professional autonomy that I experienced during my 30 years and more of education. I had the responsibility for implementing others’ visions of my classroom but not the authority to teach as I had developed skills for my students.
Feel free to share your experiences of professional powerlessness. From textbooks that boasted they were “teacher proof” to totally structured content delivery and the current movement for standardization, I’m reporting one person’s experience of what it really is like to be in education before you lost your mind. My hope is that, rather than being seen as a rant, it will open others’ understanding to understand who is profiting from the carnage of public education, stop buying the story that it’s our fault, and join those who want to establish teacher control of public education so it can regain its dignity as one of the three essential pillars of our democracy.