I've been listening to you for four months. I'm a high school English teacher in a rural public high school. I agree that public education is not the best - it's flawed, and yes, riddled with lazy teachers, and overpaid, feckless administrators, plus a watered-down curriculum. But I'm hoping to change things, at least in my own classroom.
Since listening to you, I've changed the way I talk to my students. I'm kinder. I ask more questions and talk less. I also give tidbits of your wisdom to them, subtly weaving them into a lesson here and there. Rebelliously, I find articles that cover the required state standards, but break from the rigid, old curriculum. My students debate topics and arrive at their own conclusions, having thought for themselves and provided proof of how they came to their conclusions.
I wanted you to know that I'm doing my best to create an atmosphere of learning that is not wasted on our kids. I teach them to work, think and stand up for themselves. I teach them to not just have the principles, but to stand up for them. I teach them to speak up, listen up, chin up, lift up and buck up. No snowflakes here. I see the effects of poor parenting, or worse: coddling. It's not hopeless to fight against so much, because I realize that ALL influences matter. Thanks to you, I know I am doing my best to give them tools they need to go be good people in the world who will do the right thing.
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