Antithesis of Linchpin
[The more accurate descriptor is Antithesis of Linchpin but Un-Linchpin rolls off the tongue more funner.]
Motivationally speaking, I am totally wiped out.
I have been told every which way west of Sunday: Just teach the minimum. That’s all we’re doing here. Just set the lowest bar.
And in fact, the flip side of that message is: If you do more than that, we will hurt you. Which in this case means, we will fire you.
Seriously? I thought kids deserved better than that. I thought the world deserved better than that. Was I totally off-base?
When you work for an un-linchpin [What is a linchpin, you ask? Click here.] the world is skewed in such a way that reason and logic don’t actually exist. Everything is out of sync by at least two clicks [usually more] and you do indeed live in an alternate reality in a parallel universe. Doctor Who could relate.
You can’t fight stupid.
I know this. I have tried.
And I have been pummeled. Chopped at the knees. Pulpified.
It’s my own fault. I keep coming back for more abuse. Because I just want to make things better than they are. I just want to Go Do Art. But in this particular work situation, I can’t. The Powers-That-Be won’t let me. They have and continue to make it crystal clear, they don’t want art They just want to cross t’s and dot i’s. They only want the minimum. Sadly, they think the minimum is art.
I find that tragic. And flawed. And ultimately, disheartening for kids in school. Adults in charge who don’t even know how incredibly clueless they are.
How to Slay the Un-Linchpin Dragon
So how do you slay that dragon?
For now, I guess I’ll just do the minimum. No more, no less. It’s the only way I will keep my job.
When my students tell me that a math test was ‘so simple a fifth-grader could do it’, I just say: Well then, It was an easy A huh?
I’ll have to take my own advice.
Do the minimum and only the minimum.
The very idea is poison to a Linchpin. It stirs up every ounce of vitriol in the soul. But it’s an easy way to make a buck. Not very interesting, but easy.
I can channel more time and energy to projects and places where I can excel and do some good.
There’s really no need to spend the time or energy to slay the Un-Linchpin Dragon.
Just walk away.
Eventually, he’ll realize his fire-breathing was useless and what’s left is merely a shadow.