Fidelity

Note: this post is NOT about Tiger Woods

Sigh…  One of the most overused catch phrases in education lately is fidelity. You MUST show complete 100% support to the cause — whatever that cause is (or curriculum). Now I admit to having too much of my “rebel father” in me. Whenever someone expects blind obedience or loyalty to, well, anything, I start to get suspicious.  After all, even my parents never gave me the “because I said so” explanation.  Why would I accept it from anyone else?  Particularly from people and institutions that have “agendas”. Be honest, everyone has an agenda.

Imagine my concerns when I started getting specific “instructions” from my union.  It started last year when I served on a committee.  We were not to speak of our work or discuss it with anyone.  Yet people were asking me questions about what we were doing.  Very specific questions.  Questions that were verifying what we were doing.  I didn’t discuss it, and I’ve always felt like a schmuck for not doing so. First, it’s pretty damned obvious that others were talking about it.  Second,  seeking outside input would have improved our output.  Thing is,  input wasn’t really sought, appreciated, or asked for.  We were, indeed, a puppet government.  It was my first time on the committee.  I didn’t realize that giving input didn’t guarantee it the input would be considered or even added.  I didn’t realize that when people were unhappy, my name would be used to placate them.  I felt so used, so dirty, so stupid.

Fast forward to this school year.  We started out really… weird.  There was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that really impacted one part of our unit.  Thing is, it was SIGNED by leadership, yet leadership denied having anything to do with it.  It looked odd, it sounded odd.  In fact, it sounded like a unit member I didn’t trust.  Despite all denials, cover-ups, and quick policy change, it still looked like the tail was wagging the dog.

It is.  I had it confirmed for me within the last week.  The key leadership rhetoric isn’t one of bettering our unit members and our profession, it is one of blind loyalty.  We don’t police each other, we don’t ask questions, we don’t clarify.  If leadership tells us to jump, we ask how high.  If they tell us there is only ONE solution, we must trust there is only one solution.  Problem is, no one is asking questions.  Then… One member, who I do trust, ended up been censored for doing just that — asking a clarifying question.  Imagine that, leadership censoring someone for asking a question.  There’s a lot wrong with an organization like that.  Enough that I want nothing to do with it.

Sure, I won’t be in the know, but I can’t follow any organization that acts like 1970s teamsters.  We cannot have our own kind blocking progress, standing in the way of improvement, and supporting ineffective members without thought or consideration to the whole.  We cannot have our leadership bullying us into accepting one path without considering that there will always be disagreement somewhere.  They should accept it, not make us feel bad, wrong, negative, or evil for daring to “cross” them.

That said, soon they will vote in the tail — their savior.  I suppose it’s wrong to wish ill on others, but I hope like hell this snake shows his true colors too late for the followers to be able to pull back.  Let this false prophet lead them into the depths of hell.  They deserve it.  Because that IS the price you pay for blind loyalty.

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