UnWoke: pt. A

I spent a few hours yesterday going through all of my notes, pages of writing, old journals, and ideas. It was fun to notice the themes that have continued throughout the years. For instance, I had three separate folders labelled “fragments”, but most of them are little ideas or lines of dialogue for a character and setting I’ve been working on. But the other thing I noticed is timing.

Timing matters, no doubt. But I think personal timing matters nearly - if not as much or more - as any other type of timing. Things can go on too long, too short, too soon, or too late. For me, this was the second part of this UnWoke series.

My wife has been a beast lately in the professional world. She’s been speaking all over the country, and continues to get requests to speak on things of race and race relations. This ramps up during Black History Month, and so I wanted to try and support her efforts by pointing out things I’ve learned (as a white dude) being married to a black woman.

And I have seen and been privy to situations that a lot of my fellow white Americans have not. And I’ve learned from them, and want to share some of those lessons. But I rushed it. I pushed annual timing in front of my own timing, and the organization was off. Which doesn’t make for a good flow - or do justice to those experiences.

Last week, I recommended a few books that have helped me. I took the second weekly post off for our birthdays. This week, I was really thinking about it, and know that to show my support I must re-route. So I’m going to follow that intuition. We can only grow and change when we’re ready; we can only treat The Other well when we see them as equal, which means waking up - being UnWoke -in a different way.

Ed Blog pt. 24 - 5 Things in 5 Days: Educational Consultants (Day 5)

Educational consultants are an extreme waste of money.  School districts spend a thousand dollars a day - adding to millions a year - to bring in someone to tell them what is wrong with their schools.  They often do nothing to follow through.  They also could have avoided all of this by listening to students, parents, and teachers.  Educational Consultants don't work for the same reason that child support doesn't make up for the actual love and attention from a parent.  

Throwing money at a problem, without addressing the root need and cause, does nothing to fix that problem.  In some ways, it makes it worse.  In the worst case of child support, a parent gives a lot of money to provide for their child(ren); through this act, the parent believes they are filling the needs of the child(ren).  What the child(ren) wants is love and attention, to matter, and for a positive presence to be in their life.  If someone doesn't get this, they won't be a good parent. 

This is exactly how it goes in a school.  When there is a deficiency, you cannot simply throw a lot of money at the problem.  If you do, the problem will not change and you'll simply have less money to fix that problem.  Rather, you must look at the cause of the problem, dissect the cause, and make a change from there.  

Ironically, a consultant often has almost the opposite incentives from the school district.  It's better for the consultant, the more problems they find.  The more negative they are, the better for them, financially.  The more suggestions they have, the more money they make. 

This sucks.  

True change needs to come from competent people that care and can do something about it.  In almost any school, you'll find a group of people willing to do this for free.  They'll look into how to help, how to train, and how take an active role in doing so.  Why not use that?  

There is obviously a time to ask questions and seek advice, but if this comes through taxpayer's dollars, and goes to someone that has an incentive to extend a problem rather than fix it, you've only got more problems.  Using this person as a crutch is not the answer.  At best it's a bandaid.