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…