“What are you doing here?”

As my wife and I attended a Save Our Schools rally recently, I was asked, “What are you doing here?”

The surprised look on my face must have been obvious. The smiling woman, a stranger to me, was a parent of a public school student and an organizer of the event. When I explained that I was a retired teacher from another state and school district which is over a thousand miles away, she asked, “Are you a grandparent of one of the kids here?”

Well, that was a teachable moment.


My white beard, poster and presence are perfectly understandable to other educators of a certain age. We love children, respect public education and despise those who knowingly dismantle public schools to make way for greedy profiteers who claim to be educational reformers. Testing corporations, charters, and the whole gang of purchased legislators and their billionaire hedge fund managers who are pillaging America are privatizers.
They make profits from public taxes and special contracts – by any means available.
We meet the needs of children; all children are our children.

Yes, but my age?

Hey, look around! The ages of thousands of retired educators of all ranks are evident at all the rallies in all the towns and states in this nation. White beards, creaky bones, and other assorted evidence show that we are not in the front lines of teaching any longer. So what! We are at the rallies and boards of education meetings. We know that the sole purpose of teachers and schools is to meet the educational needs of children. Meet the needs of children. Help them grow up to be the most capable people they can be.

Why are the white bearded men and the wise women active in the fight? Why must we remain in the fight?

Alfred, Lord Tennyson said it best in his Ulysses:


Though much is taken, much abides and though

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we


One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

OK. We are not great heroes, and we know it.
But we will continue to do our best to save our children from the greedy grasp of multinational mega-corporations. We fight on.


About Ken Previti

This entry was posted in civic duty, fairness, government, greed, privatization, propaganda, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “What are you doing here?”

  1. Glen Brown says:

    Excellent, Ken! …love the poem too.

  2. Patricia Herrmann says:

    Sometimes citizens forget the schools belong to the community. They belong to all of us. They are the public’s investment in our young. They pass on our cultural heritage to new generations. Schools are part of the moral compact between generations.

  3. Thank you, Ken. We–especially retired teachers–must stand up for the kids and the active teachers, for their voices are being stolen away. I can’t imagine teaching today in terms of the intimidation and degradation perpetrated upon our colleagues. We MUST be there to stand up and say, “NO!” to the edubullies, profiteers (#1 being Pear$on–stay in England, & LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE!!!) and villainthropists (those who pretend that it’s all for the children, and parents MUST have choice$–as in, for-profit and pretend-to-be-non-profit charter $chool$.
    Continue to fight the good fight!

  4. Liz Mikitarian says:

    Ken please contact me at emikiphone@me.com. I helped with the rally that you attended and would love to speak with you.

    • Liz Mikitarian says:

      Ken if not you in the picture can you get me connected with the author about the rally picture ?

  5. Michelle Speisman says:

    Hi Ken, thanks for attending our rally! We didn’t mean to offend with our questions about school connections! The school district was under the mistaken impression that only parents and teachers from schools being considered for closure were speaking out about the budget cuts. Thus we tried to identify all the school communities that came out for the event. But to have reached education fighters from other states is phenomenal! Thank you for all you do! Sincerely, Michelle Speisman, Save Brevard Public Schools

    • kenpreviti says:

      It was a parent who asked me, and rather than feel offended I taught, “All children are our children.” Parents need to know that teachers are not just little fact spouters and test givers. We stayed in education for the love we have for children and their education.
      No offense taken, and no offense intended.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s