We Need More Don Quixotes
Education is machine, contorting children into the shapes we want them to be. Education reform is drones complicitly operated from district offices dropping jargon on moss covered windmills that grind our children into dust.
We need more Don Quixotes. More absurd romantics spewing fusillades of illogical Love at the cold efficiency of machine. We need more absurd teachers riding tricycles, pedaling poorly, knees bumping the long, pointy lance tucked neatly under my arm.
We sit in too many flailing meetings feigning false inherencies.
“Children need structure”
“He just can’t do it.”
We make too many justifications for unjust outcomes
“I didn’t give him the F, he earned it!”
“I have to prepare her for the real world.”
“They could never behave that way in a job.”
I want to deploy armies of silly walks, free breakfasts, unleveraged activities, meaningless uproaring, mountains of money spent on loving intentions for caring communities. I want to be accountable to joy because joy is possible. Essential. Joy is all of us, tricycle riding, knees jutting, heads tilting, rain praying, laughing.
What if we understood teaching as service? What if I lean over and ask:
“Are you done?”
“Can I take your plate?”
and I do the dishes, line them up carefully to dry, ready for another seating next period. What if we fed them — pretentious white towel draped over my arm — because they are worthy of the best I can offer.
What if it was fun to teach? More disco balls. More imprudent music. More farting. What if I had to see my own liberation to serve theirs. What if we admitted we don’t know but decided to be teachers anyway, because we don’t know, and knowing isn’t teaching anyway?