President Calvin Coolidge once said, “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Anyone in my Fraternity (Phi Gamma Delta) is familiar with this, because we pride ourselves on having Calvin Coolidge among our ranks as a Graduate Brother, and we frequently call to mind “persistence” in use of the Fraternity’s watchword. However, this quote has come to mind for me as of late because of my work as a student teacher.
I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, as I’m sure you can tell, because it’s been over six weeks since I last posted. This is mainly because my days have consisted of waking up between 5 and 5:20 to get ready to go to school, departing between 6:10 and 6:30 and arriving at school anywhere from 7 to 7:35. This has led to long days and evenings of, for lack of a better term, vegging out until I go to bed to repeat the process the next day. This whole experience has given me more perspective on how much the people who educate America’s children go through on a regular basis. I certainly have no reason to gripe, since I’m 1) a young buck of a college student (I’ll wait a moment for laughter to die down) and 2) I’m not dealing with nearly as much responsibility as an actual teacher. Now, if you will, I will ascend to my soapbox just to say that I find what Indiana is doing with its educational system to be personally horrifying, mainly because of how much it devalues the efforts of educators everywhere (I’m not even going to get into how little arts education is considered, but I find that equally appalling). It’s interesting because I’ve learned so much from other educators on an informal basis about how little care is being given to their needs or concerns both personally and professionally. As an American citizen, it actually concerns me about the future of our country, because 1) we treat our educators like crap and 2) the people in charge know very little about education, which then further impacts point number 1.
If you take anything from this post, I hope it’s this: find an educator as soon as possible and thank them for their efforts, then find a politician and make your voice heard to them. If we don’t do either, the status quo will prevail which, I hate to tell you, is pretty crappy as it is. If we can all tap into our reserves of omnipotence, persistence and determination, we can enact change for the better. If we don’t, then what of this life is worth living?