Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Teaching in Trump Times

Trump times are times when our rights and freedoms are being challenged every day. The Trump administration is pulling at our good lives by challenging our economy with tax breaks for the wealthy and a deficit that's increased by 27%. Trump times are tearing at freedom of speech and freedom of the press with their derogatory comments, lies, and now their challenges to free share on social media. Trump times shows little support for public education by positioning a Trump-crony as Secretary of Education rather than an experienced individual, and less support for our diverse student group with disrespectful language and roll back of multiple supports for happy, healthy living and learning. Also Trump's own inability to lead with respect and dignity stands in opposition to typical rules of respect and good character that exist in every school community.

Trump is not a friend to public education or education in general. This makes it very difficult for educators to do their jobs well since we don't have the support of the President of the United States, and his lack of support creates a trickle down disrespect and lack of support for the good work we do in schools throughout the country.

What's a teacher to do?

In our private lives, educators who truly believe in the power that education holds to better lives and make countries strong, have to work against Trump's self serving leadership, leadership that's suspect and leadership that tears at the fabric of American values, potential, and good living.

In our professional lives, we have to continue to work with our best ability and effort to move schools ahead with a top-notch, modern education for every child, the kind of education that gives students a terrific foundation for the good living ahead--good living that includes a strong academic skills $& knowledge, positive relationships, positive work/endeavor, contribution to the community, and peaceful, positive living.

In a sense, educators today are working against the tide. As an educator during the Obama years, I felt so empowered. Though I didn't always agree with Obama's team, I always felt supported by he and his team's respect and advocacy for education. Michelle Obama's focus on healthy living also had a great impact on families and students. During the Obama years, families were responding to a positive national dialogue that supported healthy, happy living for all children as well as positive support schools and the life skills and routines that support school success. Obama's support for education overall had a positive trickle down effect on students and schools.

In the days ahead, I'll focus in on what I can do to make my classroom, grade-level, school, and system a welcoming learning community where every child has the support and opportunity for terrific, positive academic, physical health, and social-emotional learning growth and success--a positive goal for the year ahead.