Wednesday, Corps Knowledge advisory board member Reshma Singh celebrated some of the Badass Women of Teach For America and many of you contributed to the celebration – linking in hundreds of names on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. It was an incredible afternoon for us – seeing so many brilliant, dedicated, powerful, loving women being celebrated for their commitment to children, communities and each other.
Within six hours of the post going live, the Badass Teacher’s Association – a group initially started by Fordham professor Mark Naison, celebrated by Diane Ravitch, and referenced by Politico as a “militant splinter group” and the “teacher union’s… militant faction” by the Washington Post – attempted to hijack the celebration on social media under the hashtag #TFAIsNotBadass.
We’re not going to share the drivel here and give them more of an audience – we’d rather continue to celebrate the incredible women of Teach For America - but it’s worth poking your head in on Twitter to see some of the ridiculous vitriol.
In our first Annals of Absurdity Roundtable, the Corps Knowledge team shares their thoughts:
It's been touching to watch so many women (and men!) respond to my blog on TFA's badass women. The response confirmed what I already knew: that the women who have worked at or come to teaching and education through TFA are building an enduring sisterhood. And true to form, these women joyfully took to Twitter and Facebook to celebrate and promote the contributions of others who inspired them to work harder, be better and live more authentically. I am even more convinced now that these BAW and their commitment to our students, families, communities and each other amplifies the leadership of women everywhere. What's been disappointing to watch is the response of a group of angry and negative critics who seem to think they own the moniker "badass." They don't. And their negative energy doesn't hold a candle to the genuine leadership and talent of these amazing BAW. –Reshma Singh
We throw a party and they throw peanuts. It's such a clear example of the demagoguery in the education space - the fact that there are individuals who deliberately organize themselves against seeing any good in the incredible individuals who are a part of Teach For America. It’s also a reminder for all of us to continue sharing our voices, our experience, and our celebrations of each other in a unified and uncompromising voice that rises above the pathetic attempt at discourse. –Ned Stanley
It's a shame that the Badass Teacher's Association is threatened by folks celebrating strong women from TFA that teach all over the country and lead amazing organizations. In the end the only thing the BATs really show us when they do these things is that they, themselves, need a badass teacher...in Photoshop. –Derrell Bradford
It was pretty awesome to see so many people posting Reshma’s piece on Facebook, and to watch more and more people adding names of other women they respect from the TFA world. That piece really took off and gave people a chance to shout out some of the great role models in our space. Am I surprised that other people are out there lobbing bombs from the sidelines? Nah. Success threatens them. Success plus pride really, really threatens them. But here’s some knowledge: TFA has a lot of smart, strong, hard-working, principled, successful women. A pitiful hashtag campaign isn’t going to change that. –Kevin Huffman
Want to share your own thoughts before the weekend? Add your voice to the roundtable in the comments.