When I started my 1-2-3 project I simply disliked my artifact, found it to be of little value, and something that needed improvement. It was just the tip of an iceberg. As I started my research into my artifact it became bigger, more powerful and something that needed to be abolished; it took my instructional assistant away from me, it gave me no valuable input and I grew to truly despise it. It was a large iceberg ready to destroy my trip. By the time I was done my research the hate had become exhausting; I was ready to throw up my hands and say it just doesn’t matter. I had come to wonder if in truth my artifact had no value? Had it been simplified so many times over the years that it had become inconsequential? Was I just going to be plotting a trip around this iceberg and dealing with the waste of time? This was where I was at the near end.So I reflected back and wondered again had some of my interviewees been as blasé about the whole thing as they had seemed? As my study ended I had taken the electronic version of my artifact to my supervisor and she had like it, she’s planning on implementing a similar example next school year. I walked away feeling something good might evolve from my work. Yet, I did ponder Dr. Muth’s questions about my interviewees… Did loyalty to the system prevent me from hearing the whole story during my interviews, or did I miss something? This week I went back to three of my interviewees and showed them the new form. After a brief explanation of “my project went well”, “thanks for your input” and “look how things might change, maybe electronic” I just sort of casually tossed out there “what do you think?”
These new encounters could not be called interviews, but I needed to see reactions, to see if I had misread cues from earlier. I got three different reactions: First - “Oh, glad to help, looks like it might apply to the IEP more,” this from the general education teacher that had expressed that she taught many individualized students and filled out many un-individualized forms. She seemed receptive; maybe I had read her correctly. Second – “Electronic? Hmmm, who is inputting this?” this from my instructional assistant. She was looking at the work load, logically concerned about her duties. When I said that “was undetermined at this point” she finally looked closer at the form, and thoughtfully nodded her way through the sections. Without poking into her brain again, I assumed she weighed her duties and the needs of the students and decided she would do her job as she always did as she respects the system. Third – “Why change it?” this from the general educator that completes the forms in the mailroom. When I shrugged he looked down at it. “Electronic might be easy”, he added. I can’t help but think his initial reaction was true, and his follow up question was to satisfy my need for him to speak. He scanned the form and handed it back. I still don’t know where he stands; his apparent lack of concern still grates on me. If he feels more it's secret. He’s just going to do what needs to be done by the system.
Now I ask myself if it is possible to discredit full conversations with a 30 second recap? Probably not, but in this day and age when people are told by the media to feel lucky that they have jobs, do people resist the system in silence? Probably; I suspect they were silent with me even in our 30 second recap. The things in the workplace that I don’t agree with I do anyway, and those things that I value I seek to do well. I use the existing artifact because I was told to by the system, now I am hoping to see a change in the future so what I silently resisted can now have value for me. Maybe I've found a way to melt some of the iceberg down, live with it and maybe I'll eventually come to stake a claim in the change.