What Do You Love?
Anything you do well is noble, no matter how humble. And possibly even more admirable if you deliberately forgo status in the pursuit of what you really love.
~Lives of the Stoics, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
It is a difficult time in Indiana right now. The state legislature is considering a couple of bills that will put extreme hardship on teachers. Indiana isn’t alone in this, of course. Other states, particularly ones with Republican-led legislatures, are taking up similar bills.
Somehow, people have it in their heads that Critical Race Theory is being taught in elementary schools, and this “evil” must be stopped — even though they know nothing about it, apart from what Ted Cruz has said lately… which we know can’t really be trusted. So, the party that makes fun of people for wanting a “safe space” now wants to make sure that certain things aren’t being taught, or that parents have the right to opt their children out of certain lessons, because they are afraid of offending children… rather, of offending white children.
After all, when we talk about westward expansion or Manifest Destiny, we don’t seem to worry too much if there are any indigenous peoples in our schools who are still living out the ramifications of these policies. We aren’t trying to find a “safe space” for them.
I know many teachers — current and retired, on the Right and on the Left, young and old. I haven’t seen a single one speak out in favor of these bills in Indiana. In fact, over and over again, I’m seeing people say how damaging this would be for education; how it would limit student-teacher relationships that are beneficial to the students’ education; and how many people would consider leaving Indiana or teaching altogether if this were to take place.
One thing I know about teachers is that they don’t do it for the pay or the prestige of teaching. They do it because they love teaching, they love their students, and they want to make an impact in the lives of future generations. And many of them do make such an impact. Every one of us can probably remember a teacher that made a difference in our lives, and we share those stories with a smile on our faces.
As far as I can tell, if parents don’t like a lesson plan for a school or particular class, then they are more than welcome to seek out a private school or even explore homeschool options. Parents should be involved in their children’s education, but they have no business telling the teachers how to do their job.
Do better, Indiana legislature. Stop driving away good people who love education.