Thursday, May 31, 2007

Herding cats with Sisyphus

There is about to be a small pissing match between Ambrose Bennett and ACT. Many people want a new teacher representative, and frankly, have wanted one for a long time. This story here describes the efforts to make the ACT president the teacher's representative to the board. I'm surprised it took this long, but I've already seen Ambrose's forthcoming letter to the editor, in which he is "shockingly" not so happy with this plan. He says anyone should be able to run for teacher rep. who is HQT with five years experience and gets 50 nominating signatures. He complained he wasn't part of this process. His term ends in January. You can read his thoughts very soon if you so wish. Here are mine, which I shared with a few concerned teachers.

A few thoughts on this. Ambrose, knew about the meeting, and certainly could have attended if he so wished. He didn't even have to be an ACT member to attend. Having said that, Ambrose's point that a person should be eligible to run for that position without even being in ACT, I believe, is valid theoretically. Practically, teachers are a disorganized, apathetic mess that a small number of people are trying to fix. Given the size of our bureaucracy, we should be the dominant political voice on this island. Instead we are an embarrassment of lost opportunity and lost potential for influence. And having said all that, this is actually an appointed position, so the election, including the one that elected Ambrose, is really more of an advisement to the governor, who may choose to ignore it anyway.

Bottom line, I feel it is pretty clear from the election that the teachers wish Miss Miller to be their voice. The time frame I suppose of when they want it could be debated. I think they want her there now, but I don't have data, other than the election and a strong show of hands at our meeting to back that up. I think the ACT election shows Miss Miller has a lot of support. Also, these are serious times for teachers, and Ambrose is in a lame duck position. Ambrose has done a lot, especially early in the term. One thing he has not been able to do, and I don't fault him totally on this, is organize a mass of teachers. That clearly isn't an easy job. Ambrose acknowledged this in his letter: "To represent all the teachers, ACT must have the majority as members or they will face the same challenges I faced, which is speaking for all the teachers WITHOUT their support," Bennett said.

I think Miss Miller would have much more support. It won't be easy for her, either, galvanizing teachers, and it isn't all on her shoulders, as it wasn't on Ambrose's shoulders. Again, teachers have been a bitter failure at standing up for themselves and there is no sugarcoating it. Now there are things going down with layoffs and 90 day notices, and there is only a beginning system of support for those who sat from the sidelines for all these years.

A big fight here will create a lot of noise and little else -- and these are serious times. It will doubtlessly turn off teachers from participating. Then we are back where we started. Again. Getting teachers to do much as one is like herding cats with Sisyphus.

4 comments:

bradinthesand said...

Is that like an emasculating venereal disease? Ha Ha. I wonder how hard it would be to roll cats up hill. Wouldn't they alway be on their feet though? Hmmmm, interesting...

Bad jokes will get me nowhere in life.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7yqlTMvp8

Jeffrey C. Turbitt said...

That's great.

bradinthesand said...

when you get the chance, hop over to check out how i used that video in my newly created east coast edition...

http://thebuffaloblog.blogspot.com/