Thursday, May 26, 2016

Teacher Training

Here on this spot you have read about my experiences as a teacher stuck in various forms of training. I have spent days in crowded gymnasiums and cafeterias watching countless Power Point slides and eating a predictable series of boxed lunches all in the service of becoming a highly qualified teacher that kids in our schools deserve. My chief complaint has never really been the presentations or the box lunches. There is a sense of "we're all in this together" which makes it easier to live through those days spent in uncomfortable chairs. And every so often we get a kernel of something that will work in our own classrooms as we prepare to head back to our school sites with a renewed sense of purpose, or at least a sense of relief that we have lived through another round of training.
Which is why I have begun to develop this mild fantasy of federally mandated firearms training for all teachers. Rather than being issued a new teachers' edition of math curriculum or handed a list of web sites to do more reading on this or that pedagogy, we will be given eye and ear protection and led to the firing range. Over the course of the next few days, we would be instructed in the care and cleaning of our state-mandated and provided handgun. We would also have plenty of time to discuss center of mass targeting and the use of lethal force. Once basic target proficiency has been reached, then combat tactics can be added in simulated situations both inside and out. Using file cabinets for cover as well as the theory of acceptable losses will be examined as we prepare to greet the new school year locked and loaded. There will be those, of course, who object to the use of handguns in the classroom, preferring something with a little more stopping power. Why should we limit ourselves as educators to simply subduing trouble when we can put it out of its misery for good? I have seen the future and I am afraid.
Now, I don't expect this to happen anymore than I expect Hillary Clinton to be inaugurated and proceed to eliminate all guns everywhere. Donald Trumpler won't be the guy handing out guns to every Kindergarten teacher, either. It's just the fact that it has become a part of the debate. At all. "Good guys with guns" is a pretty tough sell in this day and age of excessive force and wrongful death lawsuits. How bad would things have to get before they start to get better? A call from your kid's teacher saying that he was wounded in the crossfire in the cafeteria, but the good news is that he'll still be able to take that standardized test with his good hand.
Choose carefully, America. Choose wisely.

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