WUOMFM

keith kindred

Todd Petrie / Flickr

Teaching is my third career, if you count a brief and dismally unsuccessful foray into the world of real estate sales.

But when I finally decided my life’s calling was to be a teacher, I resolved to be a social studies teacher. I would help young people successfully participate in civic life, and assist them in grappling with important questions about what it is to be a member of a free and open society governed by the rule of law.

This was the early 1990s and teaching jobs were scarce. The college academic advisor told me I’d have a better chance getting a teaching job if I’d major in math, or special education – anything else, really.

Empty classroom
Kevin Wong / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The recent debates about school funding and public employee benefits have teachers in Michigan feeling defensive.  South Lyon East High School Social Studies teacher Keith Kindred has these thoughts:

Last year about this time, I did a commentary for Michigan Radio describing the copious amount of time I had to think while I proctored state proficiency exams given to high school juniors. You may remember I used much of that time to reflect on all the wrath being directed at teachers.

Recent events in Wisconsin, Ohio, and even here in Michigan suggest I may have been prescient in recognizing how severe the disconnect between teachers and the public had become, but they also prove that my plea fell on deaf ears. Clearly, the anger I observed a year ago was but a preview and, moreover, my attempt to plead for both common sense and common ground was a failure.

So in the spirit of perseverance that all good teachers instill in their students, I want to try again.

Ready? Okay, here goes: Are people insane?