Rebellion, bravery, and a belief in fighting for what is right. These are traits that draw me to the voting booth. These are also traits that push me to fight for social justice through volunteering. These are also some of the same traits that I believe belong to good teachers.
In today's world of teacher blaming, push down academics, and heaps of standardized testing, teaching can become frustrating. Many teachers succumb to the pressures and abandon their teaching beliefs and instead adopt a prescribed curriculum. Many more quit. But, it is those resilient and rebellious teachers who keep on fighting. These are the teachers who find creative ways to bend the rules and keep their teaching practices alive. These are the teachers who embrace the importance of play and relationships over test scores. These are the teachers who continue to be passionate about children and learning and who find innovative ways to reach every member of their classroom community. These are the teachers who lead classrooms of young children with such grace, joy, and humor.
Teaching is an act of rebellion. We are courageous every day when we make our practices visible, inviting feedback that pushes us to strengthen our practices. We are brave every day when we guide 15, 20, 30 five, six, seven, eight year olds in inquiry and problem solving even though it exhausts us and challenges us in ways that canned curriculum does not. We fight for what we believe when we intentionally design our classroom environments to promote conversation, emotional competencies, and risk taking.
Teaching is an act of rebellion. And for that I am proud to be a member of the education profession.
In a huge act of rebellion, teachers went on strike for what they believed was right. Rebellion doesn't need to be huge. We rebel every day when we teach how we believe.