for those of you who are not in education, public schools generally start each year with some kind of a theme which is intended to carry the staff through the year. sometimes the themes are more successful and will be continued for another year or two. more often the theme spirals into apathy and fades away long before the year is up. this year the theme is derived from a book called “one word that will change your life” by jon gordon. all the staff in the district were given a copy and asked to read it, follow its advice, and find their word for the year. i got my copy this morning and read it while my wife was driving us back home from my school.
the book is a religiously based motivational book. to find your word requires quiet contemplation and sincere prayer. you have to ask god for your word and the word will be a god word. examples are challenge, believe, love, intimacy, faith, and acceptance.
i am a longstanding agnostic. despite the high level of religious behavior amongst the professionals in my district i do not complain because i believe in allowing others a great deal of latitude in their personal beliefs. this provides a perplexing situation for me because with this i am being required to participate in a quasireligious process as part of my job. i know that if i raise the issue of being forced into a religious exercise against my will that my district will find reasons to terminate me which will appear unrelated to the “one word” exercise. it will also result in my becoming anathema to most of the people i work with including many i have worked with for 10-15 years or more and it will be spread into the community (appx. 48% baptist/48% catholic/2% other christian/1% muslim/1% other) that i am an atheist who is trying to disrupt the religious life of the community.
i’m really just venting unless someone here had a really bright idea besides being a huge hypocrite and pretending to follow through on things.