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Showing posts from August, 2013

I am a Teacher: I am not Neutral, Unbiased, or Objective

“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." -Paulo Freire

I like to read this quote at least once a week to keep me focused on what the core of my teaching practice should be about. I often talk to teachers who feel that it is important that teachers are neutral, objective, and unbiased. Well, as you can probably guess from the above quote, I don't agree with that sentiment at all. I am a social justice teacher who believes that it is absolutely impossible to be a neutral and objective teacher.

Before we get into the politics of teaching, I want to explain my thoughts on what it means to be a social justice teacher. Social justice is a difficult term for a lot of us to really wrap our heads around. For me, it has always meant that my job as a teacher does not end when the bell rings. It means that if I truly believe in a socially just world, then I have to create the conditions in which t…