Long story short: I posted this TikTok on a large English teacher group, with the point being the teacher doesn’t have to leave out her “non-honors” kids in asking about books. We’ve all seen the fragility and defensiveness, and my only point or request to other teachers was not to do this. It was a fun activity, and could be a great activity if the teacher just made one adjustment. I came across the TikTok from another teacher I follow and greatly respect on Twitter.
That set off a firestorm in the comments. Many teachers, most white, were admonishing me for posting her TikTok, which is public by the way, and a lot of ‘how dare I’s?’ and not to blast new teachers — we can’t keep teachers in the profession, according to some comments, because of people like me who are so mean to new teachers.
Well, okay. This isn’t a job for the faint of heart. And I realized the post turned into a dump-on-Kelly instead of focusing on the pedagogy. Many teachers want to strive for equity and inclusion, and when an example popped into my social media, I should have seen the potential fall out. Only a few good souls saw it for what it was.
And here’s the thing: the teacher responded to me. She’s not new. She posted this TikTok and rebutted all the critiques. It is so hard not to be defensive in this profession. Ask me how I know. And it hurts. All I am asking is that, please, when you come across something that could possibly harm students, speak up. And if you don’t want to speak up, send me a message.
Do I make my own TikToks? Maybe. And I do agree that critiquing something is destructive and not constructive. Stick around, though, while I build things back up. I do not offer insight w/o trying to offer solutions.
And as Selena Carrion said: