I think I’ll wait to do the synthesis blog on Thursday because I just blogged about education in the election. So I’ll respond to Dr. Garcia’s comment at the bottom of our box:
AG: curious how you will separate “issues” from voting discussions with students from discussions with teachers… lots of different ways to slice this.
Sometimes, politics will come up in class, even English classes, whether it be in the literature the class is studying or a current event, and teachers will be asked about it and their opinions on the subject. I hope that teachers, and myself in particular, will have a sufficient knowledge base to discuss policitcs that appear in literature and can be up to date enough on the news to inform their students of both sides of an issue. Both sides. Not just the one they personally support or the one their students support, but both (or all, depending on the subject).
But, personally, I think a teacher’s political opinions have no place in the classroom. I had zero interest in finding out whether my teacher was a Democrat or Republican because it isn’t relevant to anything. I still have zero interest. Will the fact that my teacher is a staunch supporter of *insert name here* influence their teaching effectiveness? I sincerely hope not.
At the same time, I also feel they have no place in the teacher lounge because it’s just one of those topics people are ridiculously passionate about and one which, no matter how logical and sound your argument is, you can never change their mind about. And it can divide teachers. The English department at my high school had several definite lines drawn, bunching the teachers into little factions, and all the students were aware of it and, to me, that makes you look pretty silly. Seriously, you’re adults; just because you work with hormonal teenagers doesn’t mean you need to actually absorb all their melodrama. And your opinions still aren’t relevant, so please check them at the door.