Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Message to Teachers As I Approach My 70th Birthday

When I think about the war on teachers and teaching currently being waged by business leaders and politicians, I think about where our best traditions come from and draw strength from the images that come to mind: I see Socrates; I see African griots conveying the history of whole peoples in verse; I see Jesus imparting his disciples with a vision that would change the world; I see Harriet Tubman telling desperate slaves how best to escape in a brush arbor deep in the woods. Many of the most important figures in our collective history were teachers. So my fellow teachers, think of this precious legacy the next time an editorial writer or politician denigrates what you do; or a state education department tries to get you to implement a directive that violates your professional conscience. They may have the money and power, but history is on your side. You erase teaching; you erase civilization

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