Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This and that...

Today was a slightly frustrating day. In class this morning we were treated to a lecture on professional behavior because apparently this cohort is suffering from a lack of professionalism. Now, Westminster's Education department is fairly liberal as far as their educational philosophy is concerned, especially relative to the rest of the state. This fact tends to attract a certain type of student. We are outspoken, passionate, potential reforms, movers and shakers. There are also quite of few of the "Utah Haters". These are people that are not part of the cultural majority and are vocal in their frustrations/animosity towards the dominant Utah culture. Usually I don't let it get to me but today I was beyond irritated. The comment was made (in reference to professionalism in schools) that we are joining a conservative profession in a conservative state. A student added that could it possibly that conservatism that is causing the rising drop out rate of high school students?

Huh....? There are so many other factors that lead to high school drop out.

I struggle with this. The idea that 'liberal' people are more open minded and welcoming than conservative people. It's one of the great ironies of the label 'liberal'. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to educational philosophy and legislation, I think there needs to be some serious conversations and change but I don't think it's a problem unique to our conservative state.

It's like the class last year where everyone started railing against NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Is it flawed? yes. Is it punitive? yes. Do I think it needs to be tweaked, adjusted, changed? Absolutely. However...ranting and raving about it in a graduate class in a small liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, Utah, isn't going to change the federal legislation. It is the reality we are faced with as educators and it is better to figure out how to work within the confines of the regulations while trying to effect change.

It's a waste of time and energy to rail against the mountain. We need to be involved and vote responsibly but it's not going to change overnight and we need to know what the reality will be and how we can be effective teachers within that reality. The conservative nature of Utah is not going to change...Do I wish it wasn't quite so conservative, sure, but it is and I need to know what my reality is going to be as an educator.

I get frustrated when people act like they know better or are more enlightened than the masses that are simply blindly following dogma. It's disrespectful and it certainly is not professional.

Whew....that has been eating at me all day.


Whitney said...

Well said Kelly!!!! You should have an award for this one!!!!!

heidikins said...

I love this line: The idea that 'liberal' people are more open minded and welcoming than conservative people. It's one of the great ironies of the label 'liberal'.

So, incredibly, irritatingly true.