Let’s talk teacher for a moment. I believe I’ve explained my personal view ad nausea , so now let’s talk Betsy Devos and the LA6. Course you know that Betsy is our new Secretary of Education, and a threat to American education, not surprisingly paralleling her mentor DT (who I no longer will write about because, well, I don’t have to, and my OCTD was really bringing me down. But you might not know about the LA6.
I’m talking about the six horrible, insensitive, racist, “educators” who had the audacity of going on record and saying that the day without the immigrants was a great day in the classroom.
Most teachers would agree that kids who care are easier to teach than kids who don’t. That kids who have an internal drive to learn and behave accordingly are better than the troublemakers who might have learning deficiencies or behavioral problems or second language issues. Classrooms work better when people in them are taking advantage of the way they are supposed to function. Throw in an ESL learner or a little ADHD and the tone of the classroom changes. Simple.
But the day without immigrants did exactly the opposite of what was intended in the classroom. Many of the difficult kids stayed home thus the classroom ran smoother. Our district had a teacher workday on Friday and the common sentiment among teachers I talked to was how much easier the day without immigrants was. Fewer people=fewer problems. No one dared play the race card until the six from LA spoke up.
My Social Responsibility class is in the middle of a unit called, “Developing your Filter, How you become you.” Tolerance is a big part of this equation and this week I will be talking about the six teachers in LA because they exemplify exactly how tolerance relates to racism.
Thursday was not easier because my Hispanic students were not there, Thursday was easier because my classes were smaller and those who chose to protest were primarily those who feel strongly about immigration and all issues. These tend to be the rebels, the deep thinkers and those who stand for what they believe in. These are my people. Course, there were also the anything-to-get-out-of-school protesters (the ones that the LA6 were referring to) but I’m not talking about them.
And when you go macro with this analogy you realize that the intention of the day was to bring awareness to the value of immigrants. If I were in charge of these protests I would have scheduled this day during the harvest when the sugar levels in the grapes are at their peak and if the berries don’t get picked the brix level rises and the $95.00 Petroni Cab has an “Overarching sweetness, a far inferior vintage to previous years.” Mess with the wine industry and see how long it will take for a solution to be found.
California’s economy relies on immigrant labor, that’s not racist, that’s reality. And America was founded and is supported by people moving into the country. Sure, get rid of the criminals, people who break American laws should go away but if someone just wants to work and the only law they break is to fake a Social Security number so they can work and pay taxes, then why can’t we solve this problem? Temporary work visas? Simplifying the citizenship process? Learning from others like Canada? C’mon people, let’s find an answer and move forward.
There’s a lot of talk about what’s next for immigration. First go after the criminals (We should all be for this, and please change the Prison Inc. system and its 61% recidivism rate while you’re at it. But is it really productive to build your symbolic yet ridiculously expensive and still very porous wall? Please don’t think that walls are the answer. We are all citizens of mother earth and the sooner we realize it, the better off she will be. She needs us united, not divided.
Sweeping the schools of undocumented students is against our “land of opportunity” ethic outlined rather well by a bunch of immigrant writers in the Constitution. Plus the real problem in schools has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with motivation. I’d love to deport students, not based on race, but based on their commitment to learning.
The LA6, Betsy Devos and all teachers should embrace the differences in their classes, learn from each other, grow, fail, then get up the next morning and try again because it’s your job. Help the ADHD or ESL student to find their path. Accept that life is not so linear and sometimes the bumpy days teach us just as much as the calm ones.