This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Anna Siegal was conducted on August 4, 2022 remotely via Zoom. Anna was the Executive Director at Red Hook Playgroup, a progressive community-based early education program. In this interview, Anna shared that she had submitted her resignation and left her position at the end of Spring 2022. Much of the interview described the institutional, physical, and labor aspects of burnout. She described an experience of out-of-body exhaustion, and how this is triggered by the thought of going back to school in a new job. She brought up Monkeypox a number of times. She also shared how her role in school leadership became separate from curricula development, education, and teacher management, among other roles. Anna shared concerns about what the mass resignation means for education as a whole including budgetary redistribution and described how teaching requirements are being loosened in different states to overcome the teacher shortages, including giving veterans a pass from all requirements and licensing. She described the role of schools, teachers, and media as being primary arenas for mediating different, very loaded conversations about what is happening day-to-day in this country.
Anna Levy is a researcher, strategic analyst, educator and oral historian. Most of her work is at the intersection of accountability politics, structural inequality, historical and collective memory, and the role of civilian movements in economic and political transitions. She uses mixed research methods to map out the pressures and incentives guiding complex systems--including the political economy of organizations or cities in crisis, militarized border bureaucracies, or the shifting legal and digital frontlines of collective civic action, among others. Anna uses oral history to bring out the multiple, intersecting experiences that make up the day-to-day of those systems in order to help inform advocacy, policy and power shifts. She teaches on emergency and disaster politics at Fordham University and is an avid capoeirista. Her website is | Jafsadi.works.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.