Thursday, April 09, 2009

What Shall I Do?

This is in the Wanderers tradition of rounding up colleagues for a soul searching, otherwise known as a clearness committee (Quaker namespace). Art did it expertly, laid out his credentials, his options, ended up making wise choices I thought (such as not to move to Washington, DC, already crowded). Then Jeffry gave it a spin, ended up branching off in a new direction. Helen added a framework, called Appreciative Inquiry, so now even more of us are doing it, as we see the potential benefits.

In my case, it's about insinuating into that gap between public and private sectors, by which I don't mean tax-funded school vouchers (I'm against those, if used to bolster competing systems, many with no use for Uncle Sam). As someone who cut a lot of teeth in the private sector, I feel uniquely qualified to come forward as a trainer of public school teachers, hoping to add to their arsenal of relevant skills and tools, perhaps in exchange for more merit pay and bragging rights as to their "pilot project" exclusiveness, if selected for the program. I'm half teacher, half recruiter, half location scout (math joke about 3/2).

So how do I retain PPS as a client. "Go for the ESDs, Luke" said one advisor, "and use da force" (Pinoy accent). "Yes Yoda" I said, "but many of them hate me, because I support LEP High, charter schools as public schools, merit pay, all that Obama stuff the Democrats want to bury. Means I'm persona non grata in some circles". "Present to NCTM" was my other advice, but now I'm thinking "ATM" would be nicer (more congenial), given the Caleb Gattegno connection and a stronger constructivism. Lots of this Lower 48 stuff is merely marketed as constructivism, but then they hold back the real toyz (no computer programming for you young lady, that's just for the Phillips Exeter kids (lucky devils, learning Python at a tender age...)).

I'm not wanting to let go of hospital work either, which is why I keep thinking "clients" (in the plural). I've always had multiple clients and find that keeps me more open minded. Besides, I'd lose my private sector street cred if I became a full time classroom teacher. The whole point of "mining the gap" is to keep a foot in both worlds -- if that makes any sense. Out here in the Silicon Forest, we use Python as an industrial standard, to test Intel chips, to write eCommerce sites. In there, in the math classroom, you could be getting more of our Supermarket Math then, not because you'll all become green grocers (though some of you will, and that's a high tech area what with RFID (maybe just let 'em push the cart through that door, no checkout lanes, sucks the Visa without anyone even opening a wallet (try in a PX first, for cigs and beer only?))).

I mentioned to Tara about Project Earthala again (we already have our first Queen), a little microvillage in the boonies, lots of Quaker aesthetics, but accessible to television, better than phony HBO stuff (love HBO, Extras especially, though that's BBC through HBO in some ways). Dot these around, among other religious, get the eCommerce going (Catholic brandy, Jewish vodka...), and voila, a market for tiny commuter jets, from the same people that make your dwelling machines (economies of scale there). I could do some teaching, even hospital work, from these high bandwidth XRL sites, doubling as computer camps when the schools aren't in session (or even when they are, in parallel). The drawings are here in the blogs, just waiting for Lockheed-Martin to get back to me (defense puts me on hold a lot, thinks I'm too tiny a customer).

I'm also a movie and TV critic, blogger extraordinaire.

So let's see what happens next. The big question, on everybody's mind, is whether we'll be seeing more Mites, Sytes and Kites on public television. I'll have to say something to OPB next time I get a chance ("Hey OPB, come visit our Coffee Shops Network sometime, get some free samples"). I also need to get to work on the Synergetics article for Wikipedia. I'll switch to doing that now, need to add some pointers.