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Friday, July 22, 2016

What Teachers Could Teach Politicians

I love all my friends: tall, short; heavy, thin; black, brown, tan, off-white, golden, or sienna; short-hair, long-hair, blonde, brunette, red-headed; rich, poor, or somewhere in between; North or South American, European, Asian, African, Australian; gay, straight, bi, or questioning; catholic, presbyterian, methodist, baptist, buddhist, muslim, agnostic, atheist, or any other; liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between. I even love my friends who are Raiders, KU, and Cubs fans. It's true.

Here's my quandary: I am struggling with language that attacks whole sects, races, abilities, and professions. I'm confused by those who support commentary that denigrates fellow Americans, that picks and chooses who should have rights and who shouldn't. When did we accept that politicians should choose who can sit down on a bus or who can marry or worse...tell an entire profession of teachers they have failed? Those very teachers are who shape the future, who raise entire generations, who have the power to make REAL change in a country I believe has always been and is still matter who sits in our White House. Flawed, but great. I have voted for Democrat and Republican presidents, almost equally to date. But teachers don't need politicians or their children judging us when they don't know us or don't know the first thing about doing our job.

To be a teacher, you must first be highly qualified but ultimately selfless and unbiased, caring and accepting. It is the one profession that cannot judge, that cannot pick and choose who to educate, who to love, who to teach to read, write, think for themselves. We cannot build walls or exclude anyone. I once had a child in my classroom wearing a swastika belt buckle. He believed in a German leader who inspired hate-speech, who wanted to pick and choose what race or religion should live and die, even when it wasn't his own. That student's lack of education about that symbol validated the importance of opening windows for him to see through, not building barriers that blocked his view. There was a reason Ronald Reagan demanded for Mr. Gorbachev to tear down that wall...not build our own. What if Canada chose to build one to block us out? It helps to see it from every perspective.

For decades, teachers have fought for inclusion for EVERYONE and to give them all equal perspective. We strive to break down barriers for kids, for ALL kids, so they have choices. For those who can't walk, read, marry, walk down certain streets without worry of being shot. For those who have the right to speak out for whatever they believe in, no matter what that is.

THAT is what has made America great, not some person who sits in an oval office, no matter who it is. Whoever you are reading this post, you have been far more touched by a teacher than by a president.
Hopefully you want a future filled with teachers who will accept you and your children & grandchildren for all of your wondrous differences and not judge you.

I, for one, am tired of being judged by people who don't know the first thing about who I am or what I do. #TeachersUniteUs #ShowRespectToEarnRespect