Yeah, buddy. Crank up the Tom Petty and join me for a glimpse behind the scenes in the cutthroat world of public education.
Psst! You there! Over here. Stage left. See me, behind the curtain? Give me your hand. Can you make it? Climb on up here and join me on a whirlwind tour backstage at the learning factory. Watch out for those props. Don't need to be fillin' out an accident report.
Today I'm going to explain the concept of TEXTBOOKS to you. Now folks might think that they're just books. You know. Something to be used as a doorstop, or to whack that annoying kid that rides behind you on the bus. Nope. Textbooks play a vital role in education. For another year or two, anyway, until that Common Core concept sinks its roots into the educational landscape.
A textbook gives students vital information about concepts they will be expected to understand and apply later in the year, on standardized tests, and later in life, for living. Except maybe Algebra, of course. (Apologies to my ex-teaching buddy, Mabel.)
Here's the thing. ONE TEXTBOOK, ONE STUDENT. I know that sounds foreign. Unreasonable, even. Especially to those who don't keep close tabs on their textbooks. Who leave them scattered willy-nilly across the vast teenage wasteland that is paid for by their parents and district residents. They seem to think that they are entitled to unlimited textbooks. Like an educational, all-you-can-learn buffet.
"I can't find my book. Can I have another one? Why not? You have a stack of them right there. I see three. I only need one. What? The one you let me use in class yesterday that I forgot about and carried with me? I don't know where that is. It might be in the class I had after this one. Wait a minute! I don't have a class after this one. Can I go look for it? No? Well how are you ever going to find it, then? I need a new book. Can't you check another one out to me? Pay for one! Why should I have to do that? I just can't find mine. Or that other one. I have to have a book. How am I going to study for a test? I think you need to talk to the principal. To see if he knows where my book is."
Imagine, if you will, a freaky Twilight Zone classroom, where no student brings his assigned textbook to class. Every day, spare textbooks are parceled out. To every student. Half of them get carried out of that classroom, never to be seen again. Yet every day, students pour in and clamor for textbooks like I and you screaming for ice cream.
Sadly, there is no bottomless bookshelf in the seamy subculture of public education. ONE BOOK, ONE STUDENT.
Learn it. Live it. Love it.