Teaching: A Political Act

Daily you enter your classroom determined to accomplish your lesson plan goals. Many days you carry a vision of this day being the one during which Shana’s eyes light up with recognition and understanding of the math with which she has struggled or Donnie actually sits still and attentive long enough to finish his in-class work. Maybe it’s the day that the parent volunteers all show up in time to provide much-needed individual attention to your students who struggle with reading. Every day is about students, learning, and balancing priorities–that’s teaching. Are those political actions?

What does that mean to you? What does that mean to other educators?

I cannot answer that question, but I know two people who are talking about it: Anna and Madaline. They are two 2007 state teachers of the year who are presenting the eChapter Webinar, “From the Classroom to the US DOE: How to Have a Voice at All LevelsWednesday at 8 PM EDT. Join these energetic and dynamic educators for insights and strategies for teaching as a political act. Learn more and register for the KDP Public Policy Committee’s third Webinar here.

Karen Allen for the Public Policy Committee

P.S. How political is teaching to you?

One thought on “Teaching: A Political Act

  1. Sandy Pope says:

    I’m excited for the webinar and ready to hear some excellent first-hand experiences.

    I believe teaching is a political act for many reasons. At base, when we talk about “education” we generally mean “public, K-12 education.” Formed, funded, evaluated, and increasingly controlled by various levels of government, politics is implicated in every bit of education. That includes the teaching.
    Then there are the choices that go into curricula and lessons. What gets excluded is at least as important as what gets included. And often those decisions have political repercussions, whether because they reflect current sociopolitical trends, or because they present a certain worldview.
    And of course teachers work with new or future citizens. The things we stress in our classrooms can have lasting impact on how citizens relate to themselves, their fellows, and their government. And if those future citizens can’t speak for themselves, their teachers might even make good proxies–if we are given access to the political arena.

    I’m looking forward to hearing how these two excellent teachers act on their awareness.

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