Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Blind To Their Own Faults, Which They See In Others

Today I received the following email from our district (my slight changes/redactions should be very obvious):
From: (district administrator)
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 1:45 PM
To: (among many others, an email list called local-teacher-union-members)
Subject: Secondary Certificated Professional Development - 11-9-18.pdf

Dear Secondary (local teachers union) members,

Please join us on Friday, November 9th, at (nearby) High School, as we continue our journey in Culturally Responsive Teaching. The hours are 8:00 am – 3:OO pm, with lunch on your own.

This is an optional Professional Development day. Certificated employees have the option of receiving 6 hours of Continuing Education credit or one day’s pay at the per diem rate for attending the full day. Please review the attached flyer and register in ERO by November 5th. Participants who do not pre-register in ERO will need to check in at the registration table for available sessions on the morning of November 9th.
I sent the following email to someone on my own campus whom I knew would be sympathetic to my point:
If we’re being “culturally responsive”, as well as factually correct, should the email below be addressed to (local teachers union) Members or to Secondary Teachers? I mean, I’m sure there are PD’s that will tell me how important it is to address people as they want to be addressed, and being addressed as (a local teachers union) member is “exclusive” language. It “others” me.

How many times should I be subtle about this terminology before making a bigger deal out of it?
It "others" me.  Sometimes I can really revel in using that leftie language!

Once or twice when I've received emails addressed to teachers union members, I emailed back and asked if non-union-members are invited as well, and I'm always told yes.  Clearly, that was too subtle on my part.  I have no desire to make a big deal out of this, but it just shows how the higher-ups in my district don't much practice what they preach.  I'm supposed to call a person with internal plumbing "he" if that's what that individual wants to be called, I'm supposed to call a person with external plumbing "she" if that's what that individual wants to be called, I'm supposed to call some individuals "they" if that's what that individual wants to be called (even though it's grammatically incorrect)--but the district can't even send out an email that's addressed correctly?  I'm factually not a teachers union member.  The district administrators can't be factually correct, yet I'm expected to pretend that some boys are girls, some girls are boys, and I'm supposed to change 53 years of speech patterns and pronoun usage to accommodate the desires of a couple people--even when that usage is factually wrong.

Is that what it means to "progressive" and "culturally responsive"?  Not only being wrong, but forcing others to be wrong?  That's some serious Gramscian damage, that is.

For you Star Trek: The Next Generation fans out there:  *There* *are* *four* *lights*!


Steve USMA '85 said...

Shouldn't you be removed from the local-teacher-union-members list? If you are not removed, can you not ask to be removed? Just curious.

Darren said...

The *district* shouldn't be sending *anything* to just union members.

That email wasn't *just* for union members, though, it was for all secondary teachers. In the past, "secondary teachers" and "union members" were used interchangeably, because we all paid the union even if we weren't members. Now, they should correct their lazy modes of address and be *accurate*.