Chasing the Tail of the Tiger

I am sorry. I cannot respond with an inspired or possibility conversation beyond what is presented right here, right now. Perhaps I am hungry, angry, lonely or tired.

I may be all those things above, and I am speaking here from my anger (by the way which is a legitimate and powerful emotion). I feel an escalation of frustration with the project and the forward movement that is usurped by the exploitative activities of systems and people who are the beneficiaries off the backs of black and brown bodies. I feel like I am chasing the tail of a tiger in my naivete and at the same time benefiting from this arrangement.  

Each student is a body that is worth a certain amount of money, that money pays the salary of people who say they care and want to make a difference but lack the courage to be a stand for something different. Charter school administrators and educators have the power to shift how they respond to a system that continuously reproduce inequities. The public systems that are saddled with ineffective delivery of education and bureaucratic inefficiencies is currently being reproduced by the evolving charter system (CCCS as a microcosm of a larger systemic problem) that was initially created to innovate. But the supplanting of these systems is not the goal of the constructors of the education system as we know it. This system is designed to create transactions that continually enhance capital gains for the few while the masses are sold the illusion of education.

The power that administrators hold to do something different to shift the tide of the mis-education of poor (and not so poor) black, brown and white children is thwarted by the fear of their own loss of status, income and other reasons of misplaced loyalty. The masters of the illusion who control the deception of education through the guise of testing has deluded themselves about the nature of assessment. Testing assessment is not used as a transparent and powerful tool for the diagnosis of where educators fail but a tool for the return on the dollar.

The return on investment (ROI) that teachers and students are not getting is a return on the time, energy and attention that is loss by occupying these empty places called schools where healing spaces need to be created. The investment that is loss because of the fear that runs rampant in the field of education and with educators is the source for potential innovation. The courage to teach the courage to lead and do the one small thing that can change the reality of the students being served alludes them. They too are chasing the tail of the tiger. The power to stand still and breathe after a non-winning chase in circles is the power to say no and to recreate and truly innovate with the human beings that we interact with daily.

I am not sure if those who stand in those administrative positions (predominately men) understand how they maintain the very system that they claim needs to change. If women ruled the world a different reality might emerge from collaboration and a nurturing concern for the plight of humanity. What seems most prevalent is the dominance of male energy that dismisses the power of women to create. How do they not know or forget they were created and gestated in a woman? Her intelligence and empathic sense of knowing what is the next right thing to do is devalued and she is intimidated. The sheer force of will that some men exhibit in their ego quest “for God knows what” that deny qualities of feminine knowing that could balance humanity and heal the world, that could change the trajectory of many children’s lives.

This exasperation I feel is the lack of real contemplation and acknowledgement that what is showing up may be internalized imposed hindrances to the possibility for development of the whole child, which many schools claim as their organizing principle. I am perplexed with my own commitment to these empty places called schools. I imagined that my contribution could serve in some way the creation of healing spaces where true education of the whole person -body, mind and spirit can be realized as a gift to the world through the human beings who are serving and those who are being served.

Fatima Hafiz MuidComment