No True Scotswoman

A kindergarten teacher wrote a thing.

There are a couple of ways of reading the thing she wrote.

A. She’s a new teacher*, trying to make the best of a situation.
B. She’s been bought off to so the website can claim a teacher byline.
C. She’s a disgrace to the profession. Get her away from children.
D. She believes what she wrote.

For reasons, a not small number of people wrote responses to her thing built around B or C. A small number went with A and then the C group used B as a reason why the author of A pieces rose to her defense. In their responses, busy professionals, many of them teachers, took time out their day to write things to call her “a reformster”, “a child abuser”, and “not a real teacher.” She’s “stupid.” She ruined someone’s day. It must be satire as no one could be that …. that… so NOT a teacher.

I’m thinking D. She appears young. So incredibly, delightfully young. She’s likely grown up in the world of NCLB. Testing has likely been a part of her world since at least middle school. Despite that, she became a teacher. And then she wrote a thing. And people in her profession appear to be, I dare say, gleefully joining a tribe of pointing and scolding – You’re not a real teacher. You should have known better. 

She didn’t.  She found a way through and then she wrote a thing. And members of her profession are condemning her for it. There are no questions to her in the comments section. There are no statements of empathy, no inquiries into what else happens in her classroom. There is some professional empathy (hey kid, let’s have coffee and talk or it’s not her fault) but it’s framed around how very wrong she is.

20% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years. If, in 5 years, we find that Bailey is among that group, anyone want to take a guess on what she’ll say in her exit interview?

PostScript: I completely and totally get where the concerns come from. No doubt. My grrfuffle isn’t about the content of her post or the legitimacy of a response. It’s that when she googles her name, posts *about* her will come up. It’s that her profession turned against her and used the fallacy of “No True Scots[woman]” to do it. That irks me.

*Peter Greene (who commented below) researched Bailey via LinkedIn and has concluded she’s only passing through a classroom on her way to something else. There’s a lot to unpack there about many things. Perhaps another time. Meanwhile, I’m going to link to the fallacy again and have an extra glass of wine with dinner.

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