Posts Tagged ‘white’
Does being in some minority pressure people out their profession? In an office of whites, would lone Hispanic gentlemen feel out of place? Popular opinion would affirm that he would. Given my work environment, however, I feel as if I should have the similar reaction, even though I don’t.
Nearly every other active photographer in our office is a little different than I, although to say that is a little backwards — I’m the newcomer, here. To be sure, I’m a little different than most of the active photographers in our office.
Simply put, I’m a dude. Most everyone else isn’t.
Though my company is an equal opportunity employer, and ignoring for a moment that the office staff is pretty evenly split, the bulk of our field photogs are female. Of about 25 photographers, there were six guys when I started. Four of us were hired just this year, and one of us had the initiative to get himself fired before training ended.
Although there was nothing improper about his firing — he didn’t think twice about calling in sick whenever he didn’t feel like showing up, and this during training — I liked him well enough, chronic absence and all. Had he showed up, he might have been an ideal employee. Probably not, though.
Among the photographers, now, there are five guys. On one of our so-far rare reprieves, I asked why there were so many more gals driving to schools every day. Basically, she said:
Guys just don’t tend to last that long. Maybe they just say, “I have enough girl problems, already.”
After a pause and a bit of a chuckle, she noted:
Those guys who do stick usually don’t have girl problems.
Even as an adult heterosexual white male, I’m perfectly comfortable with the mostly female staff I see every day — my year or two in a sorority steels my nerves in that regard — and I can’t help but be amused.
In America, adult heterosexual white males are supposed to crowd out everyone else in from the adult heterosexual while male professions in construction, politics, journalism, high finance and the military. After a year in education and the beginning of what may be many years in school photography, I’ve managed to choose two fields where adult heterosexual white males are in the minority.
I’m either open minded or I really want to seem that way.
America has long been the refuge of, “I’m O.K., You’re O.K.” mentality, and has also long been a haven for those who believe a child’s self-esteem comes first, above all other considerations.
There’s a point too far where this gets creepy.
The stage was set, the lights went down and in a suburban Japanese primary school everyone prepared to enjoy a performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The only snag was that the entire cast was playing the part of Snow White.
For the audience of menacing mothers and feisty fathers, though, the sight of 25 Snow Whites, no dwarfs and no wicked witch was a triumph: a clear victory for Japan’s emerging new class of “Monster Parents.”
Sure, this happened in Japan, but the storyline here seems oddly familiar. Parents, on the quest to improve their small child’s self-esteem, will go insane, verbally abusive lengths. If their kid doesn’t get the starring role in the play, or any other special treatment the parent thinks their child deserves, then the parents will retaliate.
In a new book on the phenomenon, Yoshihiko Morotomi, of Meiji University, lists hundreds of incidents that illustrate it. There are parents who have secretly placed recording devices in their children’s classrooms, and others who have demanded that the results of sports events be changed to reflect expectations rather than the reality on the field. …
Within the category of monster parent Professor Morotomi identifies the most potent strain: the “teacher hunters”, who conspire in small groups to ensure that a particular teacher is dismissed. Occasionally, he said, this involves physically mobbing their victim at the school gates and screaming abuse until a letter of resignation is signed on the spot.
Boggles the mind. I don’t think this behavior so much improves their child’s self-esteem than terrifies the teachers.
Seems to me that, in their fury and haste, those Japanese “Monster Parents” took their eye off the prize: After all, who benefits from having a cast of 25 Snow Whites? I think a commenter from Scotland put it best.
The kid who stands up and says I’ll be the the witch — they’re going places. They will always be mavericks; the others will be just sheep. That’s what we should teach our kids.
I could very easily transpose this whole phenomenon to the soccer fields of American suburbs, and it would make realistic sense as much as it ever does. I wish it didn’t, and I wish I couldn’t.
I and my interviewer had just finished my interview for the rival White Kids’ Unified. My master teacher thinks I’d do well in that rich suburb, and she said so as an insult.
The interviewer must have been impressed with my by-then well-polished one-liners and my general spiel, and so she asked if I had any questions. Of course, I did. I took a dangerous turn: Why do teachers in other districts have it out for White Kids’ Unified, which outperforms every district in the county?
This is not transcribed, and is the essence of her response:
I’ve taught in four states. I was in Maryland, Texas and Virginia. I’ve been in a lot of school districts.
This school district is, hands-down, the best I’ve ever been in. I have never seen any district like this. They take care of teachers’ needs. If you need anything, they will take care of it.
Our philosophy is simple: Kids first.
At other school districts, you might need something, and the administration tells you, “Sorry, we don’t have any money.” Here, you don’t need to buy anything out of your own pocket. We take care of all of our students’ needs. We take care of our teachers.
Don’t you pay less?
Yes, we do, but we take care of all of our teachers’ needs, too, because they can also be extensions of students’ needs. Teachers don’t have to pay out of their own pocket for any supplies or anything. I know at other districts, some teachers shell out lots of money for classroom resources. You don’t have to do that here.
Why no union in this district?
The benefits here are great, and teachers get paid well. They don’t have to spend any amount of their own money on their classes. Why do you need a union? The district takes care of it.
Teachers in other districts ask why we don’t have a union. I can’t speak for your district, but in other districts I’ve taught in teachers’ unions negotiate for getting more things for the teachers. They’re concerned all about the teachers.
It isn’t about the teachers. It’s about the kids. That’s what White Kids’ Unified is all about.
She did not mince words.
On an unrelated line of questioning, I considered tenure. Do White Kids’ Unified teachers have it?
Yes. After two years, you have tenure.
At the time, I didn’t think of the better question: How does a district have a tenure system if there isn’t a union to reinforce it?