reviewed: This American Life
TLDR: Thanks for making me cry too
As a veteran public school teacher of 17 years and a supervisor of student teachers in training at the local state university, I’ve seen rural and urban public schools from several angles over the better part of two decades. Most reporting leaves me feeling certain that teachers and school issues in general are totally misunderstood. Nikole Hannah Jones, years back, was on your show with fresh reporting that was gutting, but also the most honest and important truth telling I’d ever heard or read about my own profession. I sobbed at the relief that *finally* someone got it and better, they had a platform to create an accessible piece so outsiders could listen in too. This morning’s podcast opened with teachers’ voices describing the absurdly heavy toll the pandemic has taken on public education in general, on us teachers, on kids, administrators... uncontrolled weeping in my car again. The gallows humor, the bizarre metaphors we make up in an attempt to relate the non-stop triage was perfectly on point, as if reported by a longtime insider. Even as (especially as?) I apply for other jobs this spring, I’m grateful for the reporting TAL is doing. At least someone is documenting all of this and disseminating it. Comment trolls spewing non-specific “it used to be better before I got uncomfortable” nonsense can take a hike. TAL is and has been top notch for a very long time. I know the word “justice” is now on the list of triggering words that have been canceled by right wing snowflakes, to appropriate their terms, but I do earnestly think this education reporting (not to mention the California climate episode) is a profound act of justice. Thanks, from a teacher who, not long ago, looked out the window over a janky computer monitor to see dark orange mid-day skies that were raining ash, and told a bunch of terrified, sweaty, pandemic-weary Gen Z kids over Zoom “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but whatever it is we’re going to do it together and we’re going to help each other”. I don’t know how we tell this story but I know TAL is helping.
Reviewed on Apple Podcasts