The Google Memo - An Analogy
A hypothetical analogy came up in conversation last night that I think illuminates at least one dimension of the google memo. Admittedly, all analogies are not perfect, and maybe it is incorrect, or even dangerous/sexist, to apply this one here.
I'm not ready to write about all the details and claims in the google memo. If you want to learn more, read the original memo. The only things I am willing to agree with wholeheartedly is that digging through the literature is like digging through the "weeds."
My principal came to me the other day with an idea for our school. She was happy with what our students were learning, but wanted a different face of the school. She wanted our teachers to be more diverse. Specifically, she wanted us to have more men teaching kindergarten.
After hearing her out, she asked for my advice. I told her the following.
- I'm not sure that men very want to teach kindergarten. You might be able to find one or two male applicants, but do you think you will fill all your staffing needs? How many males have you ever known to request a transfer from an upper grade to kindergarten?
- Further, I'm not sure that men are, on average, as good at teaching kindergarten as women. A lot of the lower grades teachers I see doing great jobs are extremely patient, empathetic, and caring. They are day in and day out more nurturing than I am on some of my better days. And all of them are women.
- Shouldn't we base hiring practices on the needs of our school, not on how much diversity we want? Why is there any other metric than student achievement?
Admittedly, the analogy is imperfect. It is also hypothetical - no principal I have known has ever suggested this. But does the analogy have any similarity?
- Do you think a school should have equal numbers of male and female kindergarten teachers?
- Do you think that analogy corresponds to the google memo at all? Why or why not? Does it change your mind at all?
- A cute baby video, because everyone can think kids are cute and feel nurturing.
- Some teaching jokes, a few of which I've culled
Q:What makes Cyclops such a good kindergarten teacher?
A:He only has one pupil.
Pupil: I don't think I deserved zero on this test!
Teacher: I agree, but that's the lowest mark I could give you!
My personal favorite, just learned, coming to a professional development near me: Teachers deserve a lot of credit. Of course, if we paid them more, they wouldn’t need it.