Last night we had the teachers meeting of the school/non school (not funded or recognized by the Government) where we teach Italians to foreigners, in the specific Immigrants.
This just to say they are not tourists, they are people who came to live in Italy due to necessity, seeking a better Life, in fact in most cases, just seeking a life, as their country was unable to provide one for them -not that we are doing any better.
There were about 20 volunteers present and the questions raised were very practical
- why the number of students has dropped dramatically since the beginning of the year?
- how can we assess their ability to move to the next class?
- how do we assess in which class they belong when they arrive?
- should we have a textbook?
The questions were very easy for me because I had previous experience in teaching Italian to foreigners, I assumed that it would be enough the 1 and a half hour we set out to come to an agreement about all the main points, this was until the discussion started.
The first point was dismissed, no one wanted to look at why there has been a drop from the beginning of the school year that ranges in the 60 to 70%, meaning we have only 40 to 30% students left, looking at this point would mean admit to failure of epic proportion in delivering what the students expected, which was to learn Italian, so we just skipped this question altogether. The point is as well that addressing this question would mean we have to change something because the school is not working as it should and here comes another sticky point, changing without a motivation since everyone is 'volunteering' their time without a monetary compensation it's hard work.
This point of not being rewarded means everyone secretly believes to be entitled to teach what THEY enjoy, so we have turned the school into a Teachers playground, we want to have fun and that demands that we can't subscribe to a program that we commonly share because teaching pronouns is Not Fun, and teaching reading and writing skills is Not Fun and we rather say things like 'they don't need to read and write - the important thing is that they are able to make themselves understood', and we say this with a straight face too.
Instead we keep repeating ourselves in classes due to absences and new comers, while the most common sensical thing would be to have classes that re-start every 2 month in a rotation, smaller groups and move people on, but that would mean having to repeat ourselves over and over again every 2 months as the new classes start, NOT FUN.
But here we had an extra weapon, another Word to hit each other with, "Rotation would be against the principle of Reception', WHAT?? yes, The Principle of Reception, which should stand just as meaning 'everyone is welcome regardless of their beliefs, skin color, ethnicity or original language' and not 'everyone is welcome to join any class at whatever level they prefer, not do their homework and come as they see fit regardless of the disruption that their behavior will bring to those who have started 2 months before and will have to go back to scratch' and yet just by one simple word "RECEPTION", loaded with religious double entendre of 'let the children come to me' we held each other hostages of emotions and feelings and we are fucking up a whole education system - because even if it's free it's still education and it is a system, that at the moment is not working.
Moving on on point 2, how do we assess when they are ready to move on?
OBVIOUSLY the answer here was TESTS, but since we travel Life each one carrying their personal bullshit, memories of failures and embarrassment, we now see TESTS as a boogaboos that we don't want to 'impose on others' ad we wish to rely on our personal individual ability to judge when one is ready for the next class. I have been given the last class available, equivalent to the 4th year, they got there by consistent attendance but NOT by gaining understanding of what would be expected by the 4th year of studying a foreign language. Here too, we don't have to come up with clever solutions, there are European guidelines that we have to translate into tests. Unfortunately tests preparing and rating is time consuming and extra work for the volunteers, which is the secret hidden reason why we don't want to see the common sense in testing and desire to retain the scepter of power to grant access to one class or not, based on merit and sympathy as we hold on to 'the ones we like for ages' at level A just because they are FUN to have in the class.
So here the separating word was TESTS, which stood in the way even of an agreement even for point 3, when in fact unless I test your comprehension of the language I don't know where to assign you that would serve you, the student, best, but hei, I finally get to play teacher here, I want the same powers of discrimination my teacher had and I won't give them up.
So we basically voted against the tests (?), a big sight of relief for those that have personal issues with tests, for those that fear the extra work and for those that don't have a clue about how to go about it but don't want to say just that.
Last, let's get a book, on this we all voted YES, this was easy, only money was involved, every school has a BOOK, none of us has seen this particular book we are buying in 100 copies but as bad as it may be it will be a track to move along and very useful in a system where teachers rotate every evening and should be able to move on from what has been done the evening before.
The core issues were not addressed.
Ours was a small system play out of the big world systems play outs. We can't come to a common ground because we live inside a world where words have taken on 'personal meanings' and are no longer expressing one point we can all see for just what it is, hence we can't work together with same-meaning-words to come to Solutions.
Let's take Capitalism, booh. Scared yet?
We have scared ourselves with this one word to mean the sum of all of our separations, Capitalism now means that some get it all and some get none, Capitalism means a system where life is forgotten and people are divided in classes and instead of redefining the word 'Capital' into 'LIFE' a concept on which we could all agree on because, well, because if you are dead whatever Capital you believed you had is worth nothing and you are still dead to highlight how the Capital of this existence can in fact ONLY be Life, and since we all share One, Equally, we should tend to ours and each others one's Life as the Capital of the World.
Then we would all be Capitalist, people who own the same Capital, Life, and live for the good of the Capital of All.
So, whatever the words we are dealing with that are standing in the way to come to a common agreement for what is best for All, we should redefine them, words are not the problem, a test is a test unless I turn it into something else in my Mind, and so is a reception, and guess what, so is Capitalism.
When we said Capitalism defined the private Ownership of goods and enterprises vs the ownership of the State, we didn't mean 'of just a bunch of lucky sods that contextually gain the right to enslave the rest of the world and kick them out of Their shareholder state in both goods and enterprises' that part we added it later on and then accepted it and allowed it, as we promoted Free market as Freedom and Plutocracy as Democracy, creating a World that we screwed up one misused word after another.
But we can correct this, I will start my own correction as the small point of Education by pushing myself to redefine the words that are now standing in the way of us seeing clearly what to do that would be best for all, a tool I learned from Desteni that I highly recommend to all, and as a World we can redefine the words that are now standing in the way of our Clarity on our way to create a world that works for All.
It is Clear that a World that works best for All would be the Best World for All, so we have to change the meaning of the Words that are saying the opposite, words that promote separation and beliefs in specialness and the value of some over others, until All words will be Equally shared and a Life that Equally works for All will manifest as the natural Consequence of our realignment to Oneness and Equality for ourselves and existence as a Whole.
Educate yourself about Equal Money, it's simple to grasp once you set out to be part of The Solution, decide to no longer be part of The Separation that is preventing us from creating a World that works for All, it starts with a decision that you then walk into the Physical, one word at the time, one breath at the time, Join us.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to connect the word tests to something unpleasant that defines 'who I am' and for then not seeing the common sense of 'testing' a student just to assess 'where he is at' so we may best address him to the class where he may have the most benefit
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to believe that since the work we are doing is on a volunteer non monetized bases, then we have the right to set up our own playground without considering that we have adult students who are coming to school to master this language as fast as they can so they can open up opportunities in the job market for themselves and support their families
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to stand as an outsider at the meeting because I have just arrived and I did not want to make too many waves and risk to not be liked, when in fact I could have supported D, who had a clear vision of what needs to be done but I hesitated because I have to 'let time pass' to be entitled to express myself without being told 'you just arrived and are already creating trouble?'
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to fear being told that 'I create trouble' because I see what needs to be done and in this fear of being out casted and not liked I refrain from expressing the solutions I see, as well because I am not PAID to come up with solutions and I have linked my problem-solving abilities to Money and a reward and since I would get none if I spoke out, I suppressed myself waiting for the next chance when Time -instead of Money- will give me the authority to say 'now I have seen enough and I am entitled to speak about the solutions I see'
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to, when I was called by D. and he commented on how brain damaged many of those teachers are, instead of telling him that we should not have this conversation because it would not address the problems but create further separation, I enjoyed the attention of having been identified as one of 'the clever ones that saw the solutions' and for indulging in this 'positive experience vs sticking to the solution that would be best for all, including the volunteers who could be supported to see what we already see, I forgive myself
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to, when the words 'principle of reception' were spoken as a weapon to uphold a system that is not working as I saw I was expected to feel guilty for attempting to breach 'the principle' instead of bringing a common sense meaning to the 'princple' that everyone seems to have idealized above and beyond the interests of the students, to feel irritated as I perceived the attempt to manipulate me through emotions and feelings and yet, even seeing the point, I ended up manipulating myself with the emotional reaction of irritation and in that space I disempowered myself from speaking the common sense that I saw, just to participate in the irritation of the self righteous one who saw the manipulation coming, and for this I forgive myself
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to interpret 'the principle of reception' as an attempt to manipulate me, when in fact it may be possible that we are just having a misunderstanding about words, that we can overcome if we set out to redefine the words we are using to exchange our views, until we find a solution that works as best for all.
I commit myself to support myself to redefine the words that are relative to this specific point and to support others to come to a common sensical agreement that considers all parties involved and what is best for all the players, both teachers and students alike.