WHY I TEACH TRUTH!
I do not teach with some idea that a movie like Coach Carter is going to be made about me or that I am going to be making a huge impact in the world.
The surprise about teaching is you do make an impact in the world if you are a teacher whether that is your goal or not and that’s the trade-off for the low salaries, and burdensome responsibility of co-parenting hundreds or even thousands of kids is that teaching is inherently powerful because it’s personal.
When I teach I think to myself, what was missing in school when I was a kid and largely the answer is the TRUTH.
I am a black female and 70% of my teachers where white males. White males probably were not the best people to be teaching me about the realities of my life.
However, I think the real problem with most schools is they are not really designed to teach you about life and it keeps you connected with a misinformed and biased past more than an accurate present or the possibilities of the future, which I think is dangerously problematic because it creates outdated minds that are out of touch with reality.
After all that schooling, they hit 18 and they do not know the first thing about surviving in the real world as young adults, so some of them postpone being an adult by going to college because we tell them that’s a guaranteed pathway to success and for a lot of them it isn’t.
It’s just another lie we tell.
We basically chained them to a cement block of debit and threw them in the lake and said, now you know how to swim. The truth is most of the stuff we learned in school was dated misinformation. They used to teach that there were 9 planets, which is basically the same as learning the world is flat or that slavery was not bad.
I try my best not to lore my students into a false bubble of what life is just because they are stuck in a cage until they are 18 for 8 hours a day with me. I know one day my students are going to be out of these walls and clueless.
A lot of parents don’t teach them anything either because they think it’s the teachers’ job to teach them.
I fight for my students to learn the truth.
I answer their uncomfortable questions about sexuality, racism, and poverty, I refuse to teach that there are 9 planets from old textbooks.
Never in my adult life has anyone ever asked me what an Obtuse Triangle is or if I know what onomatopoeia means.
My education was never geared towards me being a successful adult.
It was geared towards standardized tests that did not matter, so I could be a factory worker and I think that was a really misleading waste of my time and so I try not to steal my student’s time the way mine was stolen and I try to teach them things that might be useful like how to take a deep breath when someone who is wrong insist they are right.