Hey, dearest America, why do you think the Orange Motherfucker is so into schools being open? First, he wants your kids to be orphans, but smart orphans? Yeah, no, bullshit, you know as well as I do that the guy pretending to be a human pretending to be president doesn’t give two shits about your kids, or you, or books, or schools, or math, except for when it comes to what is his, and quite literally, it comes down to what is his.
He obviously thinks schools are day care centers, and truthfully, there seem to be a lot of parents who were all in to “how do teachers do it?” last spring who now are like, “fuck this” in fall. And look, teachers do a lot of planning ahead of time. Lesson plans are hard. It’s a hard job, and it is a full time job… as in, more than forty hours a week. But it is harder than it initially appears for sure, even when you know that. I originally started adulthood wanting to go into special education (I still think I would have fucking ruled at that, it was the kids that didn’t have extenuating health issues that I had trouble with). When I student taught a physical education class as a college freshman, I realized I really shouldn’t be rooting for kids to take out other kids in dodgeball. That wasn’t okay. So I changed majors. But lesson plans are really hard.
Teaching to just get kids to pass a test is hard and dispiriting. And if nothing else, this pandemic might be a way to shed that type of schooling. It is racist as fuck, and truthfully sells a lot of kids of all shapes and sizes and colors and interests and abilities an education that is kind of… not going to be wildly helpful when the time comes to have to think creatively about fixing a problem.
But because we elected idiots, we unfortunately aren’t ever going to be able to shut things down enough to make it safe to go out in any numbers until there is a vaccine, and of course, it didn’t have to be this way. There are still too many people who believe that we can just will this back to normal. And the fact is, normal is gone. It is a memory.
And it’s not like your kids haven’t noticed. It’s not like kids are dumb. I mean, they are… who the fuck isn’t a dumbass sometimes? But it isn’t like they don’t observe the world around them, you know? And fine, I don’t have kids, and I don’t teach, but I watch kids. Like, look at them. Hopefully not creepily. No one has called the cops or anything. But they do get shit. I remember being a kid and noticing stuff that grown ups were not going to tell me until years later (oh, so and so had a drug problem. When this one went on those trips, they were visiting so and so in prison out of state… or whatever) and I remember thinking, “Did you think I was a stupid eight year old? No shit.” And I probably wasn’t the most observant kid in that manner, because I tended to believe adults at first when they told me a line. But kids aren’t dumb.
I think there’s probably a lot of opportunity to get ahead, both individually and as a society, making the most of this shit situation, but we’ve all had it beat in to us that it has to be done a certain way. You know, I’m not advocating stealing an election. I’m saying that if you have the ability, the chance, maybe kids can learn a lot about the world they live in even if they aren’t in Zoom classes every day for hours.
Don’t worry about the kids learning. That’s sort of what humans do by default, especially little ones. Worry about staying alive and about them staying alive without developing any chronic health issues in the future. Teaching to a test is like working to a stock market. It doesn’t do what the numbers might suggest.