Thursday, July 30, 2020
Diary of a Socialist Indoctrinator
This ran over a year ago at Forbes.com in response to a comment by Trump Jr. and for some reason I never shared it over here. Correcting that now, since teachers are once again teaching students to hate America.
We started the week here at Karl Marx Middle School with the usual reminders about monitoring the hall between classes and limiting bathroom passes during class periods. Principal McBossface handed out the school nurse schedule for the week (remember not to send sick students when she's not in the building) and the lunch monitor schedule for staff. He reminded us that state tests are coming up, so we'll be giving pre-test practice tests soon. The grapevine says that there have been flareups among the eighth grade girls on Snapchat this weekend, so keep an eye out for any possible fights here at school coming from that. Also the new Healthy Students for Health, No-Bully Zone, Make New Friends At Lunch, Drug Free Students, Anti-Depression Army, and Honor Our Veteran programs launch this week, so be sure to talk to your students about those, and remember to hand out and collect the registration forms for the Read Your Way To Mars program. Finally, we were reminded to make our Socialist Indoctrination targets by the end of the month.
Principal McBossface held me over a minute after the meeting to let me know that he's aware I'm running behind on my Socialist Indoctrination and to remind me that it's super-critical that I get up to speed. I'm really feeling the pressure.
None of the students in fifth period algebra had completed their homework from last night. They said they didn't understand yesterday's lesson about quadratic equations, and could I go over it again. I've been working on this quadratic equation unit for three weeks now, but if they're struggling, they're struggling, so I scrapped my original lesson plan and spent the day reteaching the concepts we had covered before. When the bell rang in the middle of answering some really good questions, I realized I hadn't done any socialist indoctrinating at all.
Today, fifth period walked in talking about the Read Your Way To Mars program. Actually, what happened was Chris hollered, "Hey, you gonna read your way to Mars?" and Pat answered back, "No, I'm going to read all the way to Uranus," and then the whole class laughed for five minutes because they are eighth graders. It took a while to restore order because when they want to, they block me out so thoroughly you'd think they'd been told to ignore me by some prominent public figure.
Then in the middle of class we had a big argument about whether or not Puerto Rico is part of the United States. I said it was, looked it up on line for them, showed them several pieces of documented proof, but it didn't matter. They were pretty sure it wasn't, and they weren't about to take my word for it, or any other authority's. Convincing an eighth grader who doesn't want to be convinced is like trying to part the ocean with a rake.
Then, while I was walking around the room helping them with the quadratic equation work one to one, I discovered that Pat was just crying, so I talked to Pat for a bit. Mom is sick and it has made for a tough time at home. I told the rest of the class to keep working quietly while I gave Pat a chance to talk it out (it's a Wednesday, so there's no nurse or guidance counselor on duty to handle this kind of issue). At the same time, Sam needed extra extra help on the assigned work, so I kept Sam after and then missed doing my socialist indoctrination with both fifth and sixth period.
We were informed in the morning that today would be the pre-test practice test, so my classes were canceled while I proctored.
At lunch, I asked some of my department members how they kept up with her socialist indoctrination work. One just laughed and said that she lies when she fills in the report forms.
This was a really exciting day. After I tried some new explanations of the quadratic equation material, something clicked and most of the class was starting to get it. I was excited. They were excited. They demanded turns at the board to show what they could do. When the bell rang at the end of the period, they were still at the board solving equations and hollering, "Come look at this! Check this!" I know the odds are that many of them will forget it over the weekend, because middle school brains are made of Teflon. And, of course, I was so busy teaching that I never got around to my socialist indoctrination.
I was depressed by the time I got home. I can tell my wife is losing patience. "Look," she said. "I teach kindergartners and we work on it every day between recess and art. How hard can it be? Just read off some Fabianist theory and then get out the construction paper."
I didn't bother to explain that I'm too busy teaching and doing all the extra stuff and, anyway, who can get kids interested in complex socio-political theory. It makes sense in my head, but then I realize that, like every other teacher, I didn't go into this because I wanted to help young people grow and learn and better understand the world and themselves-- no, like every other teacher, I entered the education field so I could be a Socialist Indoctrinator, but now all I ever do is teach. I feel like such a loser.