Badge lacks courage to educate

Yes, in PhiloDave’s thread the comments have been made about those badges that appeared in your mailboxes this week.

Is this post redundant? Perhaps. Necessary? You tell me. Am I being opportunistic? Dunno. At the very least, dem badges deserve their own post. For better or for worse.

Here are some initial thoughts, on the plastic tags and related crap, that flashed through my head when I looked at the badge and had one eyebrow go up on me like dem graduation rates. I give these thoughts to you half-baked. I’m only following in the footsteps of my district leaders that appear to ‘do’ before they ‘think’.
BTW, I gots no idea if we’re the guinea pigs on this so I ain’t pointin’ fingers at Don. Just makin’ observations. If I is to point a finger in any direction, I might start raisin’ it in the direction of Jackson Blvd and Franklin Street.

Badges: Are we to become the Best Buy of Academia? Are we back to thinking of our students as ‘customers’? What does that make me? A customer service rep? I feel dirty just thinkin’ ’bout it. What would our Founding Fathers say?
Dare I ask what this cost us? Anypeep know? Sure, district will say it’s a drop in the bucket compared to all the funds that have been allocated to education but to me that sounds like a stinkin’ excuse and not a proper rationale. Unless the college wants me in room 404 selling computers during registration week, don’t ‘xpect me to wear it. Students know me and I knows them. I don’t need to be tagged in order to continue assisting our students in their academic experience. My professionalism will let students know they’re at a community college, right? What’s next? Training me to be a good salesperson? Do I get a commission if I can get a customer to buy a math class? Are we pitchin’ bonuses if the customer graduates? Puttin’ a premium on AS degrees over AGS degrees?
Riddle me this: Do ivy league faculty wear badges when they help their customers? Didn’t think so.

Branding: I’m waiting for the day when I’ll walk into the college and be asked to bend over so I can have HW branded on my assets. When is enough enough? All this crap started when the district said we needed new colors. If they focused more on the purpose of education, than reinventing the rainbow I think we’d find gold sooner. I know it’s sent morale to levels low enough for a leprechaun to jump over.

Graduation gowns: Or should I say graduation clowns? No offense to the admins that have been asked to stand in the lobby of our building wearing graduation regalia. They’s just doin’ their job. I do feel for them. Do we seriously think this is a smart way of getting students’ attention? These admins remind me more of the employee wearing the Mario outfit outside the video game store. Must we resort to this? What’s next when this gimmick don’t work? Orange body suits? (Oops, I hope I ain’t dishin’ out bright ideas! My apologies in advance to admins who may end up in that costume thanks to this post.)
Are we modeling high school practices to get student buy-in?

Circus comes to town: We’re turning our academic institution into a circus. We appear to be appealing to the lowest common denominator of attention. “Hey kids, look over there! It’s Graduate Gary! Let’s go talk to him about graduation!” “Kids, kids! It’s Betty with a badge! Let’s ask her about semester schedules!”
With our words we say want to have a frickin’ “world class institution”; with our actions we say the complete opposite.
It ain’t about graduating the masses to score points with Rahm. It ain’t about training people to be slaves to work. It’s about that reply Kamran and others left on PhiloDave’s post. I need not expound on it here. Admins, go back and read those thoughtful words (lengthy? yes – and your only reward is learning – you’re welcome). They speak volumes about education and academics and students. Ain’t no gimmicks there. Only educated peeps having the courage to promote true education with words and actions; which is more than I can say for the people responsible for authoring the badges.

*If I come across as bein’ flippant, it’s only ’cause I’m tryin’ to get my message across any ways I can. I’ve tried polite in the past. Humorous e’ery so often. Formal when I thoughts it apropos. Silly when sensible was not called for. And now? Perhaps if I appeal to the lowest common denominator of intelligence, maybe, maybe, someone might pay attention. When in Rome…

14 thoughts on “Badge lacks courage to educate

  1. Realist, thank you! I might add that Margie’s November 8 email to faculty mentions that there is yet another NEW position for the plastic badge iniative ” Juliana Tashiro, our new Director of Strategic Initiatives”, and that she “will be distributing the name badges to your Department Manager.” It looks like we no longer have Department Chairs but Department Managers.

    • I believe “department managers” refers to who we used to call “department administrative assistants.” Department chairs remain department chairs.

    • Thanks for the pointer, Curious G. I missed that.

      And it leaves me wondering:

      A) Is this a directive?
      B) What does “during registration” mean? During our 30 hours? From now until classes begin? At any moment we are advising students?
      C) Is there a standardized, required location for the badge or am I allowed to choose where I affix it?
      D) Are we encouraged or discouraged from including “flair“?

      • It is truly depressing to ponder the bureacratizing impact of bureaucratic policy and initiatives.

        I was thinking, even as I typed those questions–should I post this? Am I “that guy” now?

        But I did post it because it seems right to resist stoopid with stupid.

        After two years of working on simplifying and clarifying purchasing processes it takes seven signatures on a paper that has to be walked or sent back and forth 12 on twelve trips around the college and across the city to get approval for contractually required reimbursement for taking a class or joining a professional society, but the strategery of the titans of commerce “reinventing” us offers us new colors and badges.

        Good call. Jeebus Jehosaphat.

        In an email exchange, one of our recently departed faculty colleagues signed off with, “It was great working with you at the factory. Keep the crew in line.” It was funny because it’s true. Moreso by the week.

  2. How about the signs in the hallways that say, “the only had allowed in this building is (picture of graduation hat.”? This reminds me of what is done at various elementary schools. Kids are told from the beginning that they’re expected to go to college, in Kindergarten. Imagine a Kindergarten teacher starting the year by saying, “you’re all going to college.” Seems strange right. Maybe it’s just me. This is part of the mission statement for school networks like KIPP. While an end goal is important, isn’t there something to be said about living and toiling in a particular educational moment. At CCC, we’re wearing badges and graduation garb. It’s all very bizarre. Yet, I still can’t make a copy.

    • Yeah, I’m two weeks late in posting something about the hat policy enforcement which has picked up significantly since the gates went up (and seemingly across the colleges), leading to at least two injuries at two different colleges (one to a security guard and one to a student who ended up with a broken jaw).

      It’ll be up next week…or maybe people will take it up here.

      More rules, less justice.

    • How’bout tha situation of owr advisors? That’s tha xtreme of tha “robotization of individuals.” How they’ll do a good job if they don’t have time to think?
      Well, maybe that’s tha main goal of owr new mission: mass production of low-middle level skill workers. I’m not saying that’s terrible; what’s terrible is to continue limiting people’s potentials for economic interests. I think tha CPS neighborhood, gifted, now the shelters/charters, have done their part with owr young fellaws. I don’t know if I recall this right, but it seems all this started with tha previous king’ofthacity ruling a probably real thing “educators’rrr bad managers!” Wise words of the former king! Sadly, who told him that managers were gut educators? This is where we’re today: blaming educators for tha results of tha experiments of micro-managers in education.

  3. The other day I was having a conversation with a student in the hallway, and we were interrupted by someone who stepped between us to tell the student to take off his hat. Really!? I was appalled and insulted that a private conversation between a student and a teacher was deemed less important than making sure that student removed his hat. Yet, the student worker with this staff member was wearing a head covering (not a hat, but still a full head covering), and that student was not made to remove it. Our students have more important things to think about, we have more important things to think about, and our staff have more important things to think about.

  4. I love reading the back of it: CAUTION – MAGNETIC DEVICE, DO NOT USE WITH PACEMAKER

  5. Heard a rumor today that there will be “secret shoppers” in the building to investigate our customer service. I don’t know if it is true, but put your smiles on and say, “How may I help you?” to everyone you encounter.

  6. “Secret Shoppers” have been a reality at the CCC for at least the last ten years…

  7. So, we work at Target, now? This is ludicrous. It’s not just at HW…they have appeared at Wright, too. Really?

    Are we required to wear this? If so, how can this be so?

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