today i accidentally (i normally do not do this, as there are better things to do) stumbled upon one of the major latvian language newspapers (relatively major and relatively newspaper, more of yellow press sort of thing), diena, and it had this headline (here and below, all translations mine) on the front page: “Why this experiment? To what end?” (http://www.diena.lv/lat/politics/viedokli/kapec-eksperiments-kads-merkis). Summarily: the journalists of the said newspaper propose secondary school students to become ‘secret agents’ who would make audio recordings (by stealth, and behind the teachers’ back) of classes, then submit the recordings to the journalists, who would “seek expert analysis of the classroom work” and publish the results (not disclosing the name of the teacher or the school, or so they say). The newspaper explains this as an incentive to “start a discussion about the quality of the education,” concluding that “in this case, the goal justifies the means. The society has the right to judge everyone who steps ‘on the stage’ – be it a film, drama performance, ice hockey players, journalists or a teacher in class.”
now, this does not even make me angry. there is a different word for this. this nauseates me. it nauseates me as a teacher (of sorts), as a christian, and as a member of the above mentioned society with the “right to judge”.
as a teacher, i am disgusted by another attempt to discredit the profession, and break the already fragile trust that must be formed between the teacher and the student in order for anything – anything at all – to be achieved in the classroom.
as a christian, i am nauseated by the injustice. and, of course, by the deterioration of the value systems, destruction of the image of the divine that still is carried by every individual in this human world, be it student, teacher, journalist, parent or minister or whateveritwas. i think this tendency to ‘analyse’ and ‘judge’ someone without their – howbeit formal, or legal – consent is abuse of the rational mind god has credited us with. and it definitely is heartless, completely heartless and inconsiderate.
as a member of the society, i am plain disgusted by a) the return to the ‘big brother’ looking over my shoulder; and b) by another swarm of irrelevant and unwelcome detail that will be spawned into the public space. the mental plane is polluted as it is, we do not need more of the stuff.
and yes. i personally do not want recordings made of me in any form for yet another reason – imaging and recording diminishes my soul, takes something away from my life. this is why my face seldom appears on photos, and it is a really rare occasion i allow my voice to be recorded (unless, of course, it is a translation, and i cannot help it).
and then – who will judge the judges when the judgement comes?