steam punk or sell-out

The district office administrator called me into his office.  "Mr. Johnson, I've been reading your plog."

I sat there silently.

"There's some good stuff in there.  You're a forward thinker.  The question is what we should do with you. How can we use you best?"  I don't want to be used.  For all the talk of human resources, I'm more human than I am resource.

"I think the classroom is working well out well for me."

"Look, I read your entry about Pencil Class.  I almost left an anonymous comment on the margin. Instead, I thought I would talk to you about it.  What if you could be in charge of the pencil classes? I think you have ideas."

"I do.  I would like to shift the class into a publishing class.  Let kids go through the writing process and participate in creating literary magazines and social issues magazines.  Let them have an elective where they use the pencils for something more relevant than penmanship."

"We'll have a formal interview and all, but is this something that would interest you?  You could have more of an impact."

"I'm afraid I'll lose perspective. I'll forget what the classroom is like."

"So, you teach in the morning.  No more waiting all day to urinating.  No more cramming in a twenty minute lunch.  Think about it.  Then you hop on your horse and visit a different classroom each afternoon.  You'll be a resource for the teachers."  Again, there's that term.  I don't want to be a resource. I don't want to be used.

"That's something to consider."

"We have a great grant from Carnegie.  We need someone forward thinking.  Someone progressive who will lead us into the twentieth century.  I think you are our man."

"I once protested at one of Carnegie's factories and I'm nervous about robber barons who try and buy influence.  I'm nervous that their voice will win out and that we'll move toward job skills instead of learning to live well.  I'm worried about the factory model of education.  You say progressive, but moving forward doesn't always mean moving up."

"Couldn't you offer that perspective?  Couldn't you be the one to steer the program that direction?"

Honestly, with Caravan to the Top and all of the reforms of the McKinley administration, it seems that teachers are losing autonomy.  We're no longer public servants, but rather cogs in an edufactory.  So, I'm leaning toward taking this position. And yet, it bothers me.  I'm wondering if this means selling out.

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