For those who noticed (or care, for that matter), Montgomery County, Md.’s public school system’s superintendent is stepping down in June. The Post, of course, wrote an article reflecting on Jerry Weast’s service and accomplishments, noting how remarkable the length of his tenure has been. The article cites that most superintendents last three to five years before facing burnout. If nearby jurisdictions are any indication, this rings true. Weast took the helm in Montgomery County in 1999. That same year, Iris T. Metts took over as the first woman to lead neighboring Prince George’s County Public Schools (while I haven’t looked at her policies with a critical eye, I remember not being fond of her at all while in high school … but I think she had a hand in voting “yes” for a substantial competitive scholarship I received. *tips hat*). Despite being fired by the school board (then reinstated after the state dissolved the school board) Metts’ served until February 2003, when she chose not to seek a renewal of her contract. Next, Andre J. Hornsby became the chief of PGCPS in spring 2003, but resigned from office in May 2005 amid investigation (and subsequent convictions) for federal corruption […]
So I’m taking a course on the context of teaching and learning, and someone said something to the effect that American society fetishizes the leader. Interesting way to put it, but it’s very true. As a whole, the country places so much value on being at the head of the pack and being the one to call the shots that if you’re not the leader, you’re nothing. From infancy, parents are obsessed with giving their kids all of the creature comforts and jump starts that push their kid to the top of the class (that they’ve yet to join, mind you).
I do OK for myself, but I know I'm not living up to my potential. I'm definitely the kind of person who is good at things I don't value, but not good in the things I do. Case in point, my undergrad and grad school paths. When I was in high school, it was all but understood that I was going to law school. I was a standout on the mock trial team, watched ALL those legal shows (forensic and courtroom). Got into my top choice school, but didn't go. (Blog for another day … *still* not over it). But the reason that was my top choice school was because it was going to prepare me for law school. The problem? While the expectation was there, the support wasn't. I'll rephrase that, because there were tons of people who believed in my ability to succeed, but there wasn't enough follow through to push me to do so. How do I know? Because I wasn't a biochem major, like I said I would be. I had decided sometime after being told I'd be at the state school that I'd forego pre-law as a major and pursue forensic pathology. How'd I just go […]
"The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side." ~James A. Baldwin I didn't always want to pursue the field of education, at least not explicitly. I've always had a very strong belief in formal education, with a respect that acknowledged a bulk of one's education is informal. I'll never forget the day I realized I wanted to be in the trenches of education, though. I was walking through the Tunnel of Oppression on campus my junior year of college. There was an exhibit that focused on education, particularly parity. It was a simple, interactive piece. Simply pick up the composition book and write down the books you read by black authors in high school as part of the instructional curriculum. o_0 I could rattle them off fairly easily: Their Eyes Were Watching God junior year, Invisible Man senior year. I was livid. I couldn't believe that I lived in a predominately black county, attended an overwhelmingly black high school, and had only read TWO books by black authors? What is that shit about? Right then, I knew that no matter what career I pursued, it had […]