I went on strike today.
For the first time in almost twenty-one years of teaching I went on strike.
I withdrew my work –
I didn’t go in and collect nuggets to show
I didn’t strategise how I would show them
I didn’t find in myself the way to ‘say’ the nuggets
I didn’t ‘OK’ and then give them again
I didn’t quickly paint a picture and ‘arm-wave’ it to the class
I didn’t chip away at my comfort and maintain my professionalism
I didn’t jump aside and think a second to give the focus
I didn’t sit to one side and give yet another bridge
I didn’t hold my breath a little and give another tool –
‘hope they’ll be careful with it –
I didn’t make eye contact by marking work
I didn’t share a vision by building yet another step-up
I didn’t clap or smile or care when I recognised or reported
I didn’t remember to do the tracking
I closed the gate to a world when I didn’t plan
I didn’t practise patience when they failed my aspiration
I let the gate open when I didn’t tutor.
I didn’t do ALL of this
because the government
shuffled around in its pocket looking for the
small change while I –
even though I know my place –
shake the tin one more time and
yes I would rather spend it
in Starbuck’s AND have a slice of cake with it
as well …
and for one of the
first times in twenty one years
I felt that what I do in teaching IS still noble.