Last night my Facebook feed was full of teacher backlash against the newest Secretary of Education. The appointment of Ms. D does not bode well with teachers in public education, and many such teachers feel hopeless. More hopeless.
Instead of feeling disheartened or choosing to be angry, I’m turning to an idea first developed through the wisdom of the scientific method. Since 1952, quantum physicists have wrestled with the theory of parallel universes or multiverses. Essentially, for all you TL;DRers out there, the big idea is that so much observable and quantum level phenomena can be explained by the theory that a multitude of universes, of multiple realities, exist simultaneously.
So just imagine how that idea connects to alternate realities like in “A Wrinkle in Time” or the Bizarro versions of the Seinfeld universe. And if you want to read more, read Briane Greene’s “Hidden Reality”. He’s the Benedict Cumberbatch of Quantum Physics.
The intersection of our country’s choices this week about public education policy and the idea of a multiverse comes to me when I consider how we teachers would create our own universe. What would it look like? Let’s explore the TeacherVerse.
Utopian Classrooms. Teachers everywhere have autonomy to create the classroom of their dreams. They’re allowed to design the most beautiful and relaxing space imaginable for their sacred beings (who we call children in this universe). Only teachers have control of their learning spaces.
Independent Instruction. In the TeacherVerse, we teach what we want and how we want. Our shared years of experience with students inspire us to create and implement fun and engaging lessons. But we don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every lesson. Curriculum and materials are plentiful and teacher-created resources abound and are encouraged.
Seasonal Schedule. The TeacherVerse understands the joys and demands of caring for sacred beings so much that we have the sunniest season of the year off. We can focus on caring for our bodies and our souls for at least two months every year. Also, understanding that family time during the winter holidays is important, we have at least two weeks off during the most popular holiday season.
Amazing Co-Workers. Accepting that teachers have extremely high standards, the TeacherVerse allows us to work with the most creative, inspiring, and humorous human beings in all the multiverses: other teachers and children. Students continually give feedback and joy to their teachers through hugs and silly, goofy comments, and teachers encourage and love each other thoroughly.
Resource allotment. In the TeacherVerse, all human beings who choose teaching as a career value creativity, children, appreciation, and free time over other resources. As such, their resource allotment will consist of daily fulfillment, hugs, idolization of numerous humans, laughter, and green slips of paper to exchange for food, housing, transportation, and other human needs.
What do you think of that TeacherVerse? Notice anything? The TeacherVerse already exists. It does, if you want it to—if you choose to see your universe that way.
If you don’t believe you can create your own TeacherVerse, go back and read the descriptions above. That reality is there for you to choose to see it, or for you to create your own. We teachers create our own universe every day in our classrooms. We create our own beautiful learning spaces, work with amazing creatures, receive priceless daily rewards, and seasonal breaks.
I choose to see that universe, that TeacherVerse. That’s the multiverse of hope