There are a few things one can learn on the other side, the other camp. One thing that is paramount is the existence of camps. Obama comes to mind, constantly criticized for wanting to work with the guys (gals) on the other side of the line. Bipartisanship. Like the fabulous Broadway musical Wicked when the two witches realize that although they each had been given "antagonistic" roles, they needed to work together, following some goal outside themselves. Wasn't the objective in that play to "free the animals?"
What is our objective here, in the now, in the world, in the heart of our living room-- in this precise moment in history?
Not sure who needs to be freed anymore, and maybe it's still the poor children, the poorest of families in my (and their) communities. But maybe it's also "free" ourselves from the burden of camps. From the burden of You vs. Me or the That or Nothing.
I am no longer afraid of dissolving into the madness of conformity.
I know who I am and I understand the passing on of knowledge.
I can debate and play with you on any day about CONTENT, but most of us agree that human beings need to feel connected to SOMETHING and that SOMETHING has to be BOTH about ourselves and about the world around us simultaneously.
I don't want experiments on poor people's backs, but the more I see the more I understand that even the most privileged who are young teachers are suffering. They are carrying around the history and the decay of the ages, hoping to make a difference, but babies themselves, wondering and mostly lost and tired and angry.
In the very least I don't have to worry about them going hungry.
What is the most severe-- poverty of the mind and soul or poverty of loins? The death from hunger, the death from abandonment or the death of the essences of life--love??
I get amazed that educators get lost ON BOTH SIDES OF ANY CAMP YOU CHOOSE when they forget the purpose of childhood and the purpose of schools. If we are not there to love each other and love the children in front of us, to teach them love of the other and love of themselves, to teach them that all knowledge can grow from love, any knowledge that we choose--
then we are lost.
What is knowledge without love?
What kind of schools are we creating when the structure stamps out love, when there is no time to breathe and to smile and to rejoice in the beauty of our existence?
What kinds of schools are we creating when the children in OUR charge, in our CARE-- can't play in a safe place?
What kinds of school are we creating when we ourselves are so tired to do the right thing, sharpness envelopes us like darkness, like the plague because we are always "barely surviving?"
I am sorry to all those who out there I have said the simple word, "No." That I will not do more than I can because if I do I will die, that I will not forego the most important task of my job and that is to have enough energy to share with the innocence in front of me.
Again, forgive the typos or the grammatically incorrect, I've got little time these days.