Intercultural Responsiveness
A Blog By Tom Altepeter

Faux Pas

SNFThis year, I’m doing it. I don’t care how many rules it breaks, I don’t care how many people it upsets, and I don’t care how much trouble I get myself into. This year, I’m wearing white after Labor Day, no matter what anyone else says.

Not that sporting all white looks very good – well, on most men – but regardless of the fashion statement it makes (or fails to make), I’m curious if most people know why it’s not O.K. to wear white after Labor Day. Actually, I’m curious if any people know (and Googling it doesn’t count). I also struggle with knowing when it’s no longer “after” Labor Day. I mean, is it a week, or a month, or a few months, or – seriously, when is it no longer “after” Labor Day?

I’m convinced that most of the things we do to students in our education system happen because, well, we’ve always done them that way. We’ve long since forgotten why we do the things we do, or if and when it’s acceptable to actually do them differently. Sure, every once in a while we’ll package it another way, title it something else, and market it as some sort of valid reform; however, are we really doing anything other than stylistic changes? Honestly?

When’s the last time we’ve truly done something more than just a little fashion faux pas?

I want to do something dramatically different. I want to actually turn the system inside out, and upside down. I want to radically change the way we serve students, respond to students, get out of the way of students. I want to lead a revolution – Heck, I just want to be a part of a revolution. What dramatically unique ideas do you have to truly change education? What gets in the way of making them happen? How can we work together to make them happen?

It starts with a willingness to buck the system. Wear white after Labor Day. Who knows what’ll happen next.

One Response to “Faux Pas”

  • Kathy Mayer says:

    Well, a thought-provoking proposition with a twist of humor! Love it! There is winter white, of course, but that’s more ivory and usually wool. My amateur thoughts for turning education on its head: let educators decide what should be done! That should rock a few boats!

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