I am still waiting for that large, sweeping legislation in the house, senate, and presidency in regards to progressive education. It is ironic that I will post something on Facebook in regards to education and get “likes” both from my most conservative and liberal friends. Education is something that internally, I believe many of us understand. We get it emotionally and we are able to connect to that part of learning, that relationship part of learning. However, we are so fearful to take the big step, to recognize that education is fundamentally broken in the United States and needs drastic overhauls. I’m still waiting, for that collective recognition.
I relate it somewhat to health care. Even with the Supreme Court upholding the health care bill, we still move slowly towards a system that would give all citizens preventive care and health services at a reasonable price. Why we still hold onto an employee-only based system, which while good when it was concocted by unions a hundred years ago, it surely is out dated and does not represent the complex society we live in today. So why do we do the same thing with education? Does anybody actually believe that the type of repetition style tactics still work in a global, innovating, rapidly progressing society? I’m still waiting, for us to progress into the 21st century.
And yet, at the same time, I cannot help but to feel compelled to represent and speak out for a continued “small school” movement and localized improvement. The old slogan is right, “think globally, act locally,” the problem with that quote is, the actions locally seem to move the needle far too slightly globally. I’m still waiting, for educators and activists to act both locally and globally.
I really am unsure, even at my tender age of 28, if I will ever see truly transformational changes to the United States education system. There are moments where I believe it is undeniable and will happen (usually these happen in the presence of those who are like-minded as myself), and then there are the other moments, the ones that make me question whether it is even worth all of the hassle. This is why I cannot seem to fully embrace the system, relegating myself to the fact that I can make changes in the lives of individuals in whom I encounter but will always see a broken system that does more harm than good. Or, I cannot seem to fully become radical, a revolutionist as it were, asking for us to blow up everything and start from scratch, mostly because I seem far too conventional in my personality to simply say “fuck it!” So I guess, I’m still waiting, to fully understand where I fit in with this big fat mess that we call learning.
Maybe I am not supposed to fully know; maybe that is the point to all of this. The journey will play itself out, and perhaps it is time that I fully embrace the unknown and be at peace with that unresolved pit in my stomach. Of course, once I try to do this, I feel myself becoming lethargic, uninspired and far too compromised. The ultimate questions always seem to remain unanswered and I do not know if the point to all of this is grow in patience, to act in vengeance or something in between. All I know is that I’m still waiting, hoping and praying, that somehow the system or myself, will work itself out.