One of my current peeves: teachers/educators who don't pay attention to the news re: education and teaching.— Kelly Love, NBCT (@mrskellylove) July 11, 2021
It’s weird how what I consider to be innocuous tweets get attention, positive and not-so-much. So, as a place for more information, here are some sources I have grown to trust. This is not an exhaustive list by any means:
Of course, follow many of the folks I’m following on Twitter, including @JennBinish: she writes about history, educational history, and is a fact-checker extraordinaire. Moreover, she listens.
- Valerie Strauss who writes about educational issues in the Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/06/21/critical-race-theory-ban-florida/
- NPR Education news https://www.npr.org/sections/education/
- Follow what educational experts say on Twitter
- Make your own connections:
- News about taxes, deductions, living wages, etc., affects all of us. Challenge yourself to learn more about economics and our capitalistic system of money.
- Learn more about how public school segregation still exists and how it affects your students
- Understand how schools are funded–who is writing your checks?
- Even if you don’t teach #EL/ML (English/Multiple Language Learners) how is your school/district affected by immigration policies? Who is being harmed by them? What propaganda and conspiracy theories are being used to harm students?
- How do gun laws affect school shootings?
- How does white supremacy and historical facts continue to harm students today?
- What tools and strategies can you find from experts who help you navigate these big issues?
Here is a media bias chart. I can support the claim that the R side is also full of propaganda outlets.
And I would never, ever expect anyone to expend energy in places that do not serve them or their students. But I will ask this: if another teacher does know something, please do not make him or her feel like a know-it-all, breathe through your defensiveness, and just listen. Recognize when your cognitive dissonance may be at work: sometimes when we hear something that’s traumatizing and tears at our world views, our brains must push back. That’s part of our survival.
And think for a moment: when I have a student who comes to her junior year of high school and had no idea there were elections besides the presidential one, or students who are told by teachers that the world is only 6,000 years old, or me when I learned from a student that there were indigenous enslaved peoples: the willfully ignorant teacher is defensive and downright rude to students who might have more knowledge than they do, and this will break down any so-called relationship one has built. Now the same student who taught me more about history also refuses to get vaccinated because of TikTok videos. I hope she changes her mind: I try to modal critical thinking skills and the flexibility of mind, another reason to be informed.
But I can’t help but think about Philando Castille and what might have happened if every teacher, in every school, across our nation had just walked out for one day to say that the state may not kill one of our own. A man who loved children, our children. In schools. That’s a place to start.