Layoffs: LAUSD Style (A Labor of Love Deferred)

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
– Langston Hughes

the school board voted today to finalize the deferment of many people’s dreams. and although i will not pretend to assume what these people’s dreams were… i do know of one dream that was indeed abruptly put on hold by a 5 to 2 vote.

my wife is an excellent teacher. i know this because she is better than me and i am pretty decent. i know this because i love my job so much. and so did she. but she loved it differently than i did. for where i adore the challenge of striving in what some would say impossible circumstances to achieve success, where i drool at the opportunity to create in some of the most stale and stifling environments to some, and when i put work above all else because it is a passion that i love… she does all this too.. but she did it even in the face of knowing that her labor of love was being taken away from her. and she did because she operates on a true pedagogy of love… and not for the job, as i tend to do more so… but love for her students.

the love for her students kept her working harder even after she found out that her job was in jeopardy. love kept her motivated to maintain the community of learners she had facilitated in building and to further humanize the classroom in a way that allowed for the expression and empowerment of her students in manner unique to public schools. love is what i saw the most of on her board when the students had left her classroom for the summer, possibly for the last time ever…

a farewell message to a teacher who should have never had to leave
a farewell message to a teacher who should have never had to leave
school board votes can't erase school board love... never
school board votes can't erase school board love... never

in the end there were many teacher who lost their jobs. perhaps thru that some realized that educating youth was really not their dream. perhaps some of them will not be able to forgot the sour taste that this has left in their mouth and will turn away from their dream prematurely, disheartened. perhaps some will choose to pursue the same dream in a more supportive environment or district.

i know that whatever the case, this really hurt one great teacher a lot.. but she will overcome. she would expect that of her students, and she expects that of herself. and her pedagogy of love extends beyond the walls of any classroom, out into the world… she will continue to teach people and children (one of her own soon) thru her example…

love the life you live,
live the life you love

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