Okay, so I have a little bit of a confession to make. Every week when my Time magazine comes in the mail I get super excited. It’s not only that I love getting mail (which I do), but I sincerely love reading them. Kinda dorky, I know. I’ve been reading Time magazine ever since I can remember. We used to get Time for Kids in first grade and I can remember continuing to read the magazine throughout the rest of my schooling experience. I can only assume that growing up reading Time in school has lent to me still reading it now. Because she knows of my slight obsession, my mom mentioned to me the other day that the school she teaches at (and that I attended) is going to stop ordering Time for their students. WHAT??? According to her vice principal, Time is conservatively biased. I wasn’t really sure what to think about this, so I decided to do some research.
At first I thought that that might make sense, considering I tend to lean a little to the right and I do love Time. But when I started looking back through my magazines, it seemed to me that there was a pretty even assortment of articles. Figuring that I had no idea what should really be considered “liberal” and “conservative” I turned to the internet. After looking through countless blogs and articles, it seems that most people view Time to be liberal biased. However, there seemed to be agreement that Time has been biased towards the Romney Campaign this election season. And yeah, I have seen two magazines in the last couple months focusing on Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and none devoted to the president. Regardless, I will continue to read Time because I believe that it presents critical and relevant articles in a wide range of opinions and forms.
But what about the students? Is it inappropriate to provide Time magazines in schools? I believe that it is crucially important to not give students strictly biased information from media sources or from your own mouth. I know that this will be difficult for me as a teacher because I am so passionate about politics. More than that however, I am passionate about teaching kids to make informed decisions and to think for themselves. I think it’s so important to get kids thinking about what’s going on in the world and to understand how it affects them. They are going to need to be able to decide where they stand on important issues in order to be active participants in society. The way this happens is being informed. I think that it is essential for us as teachers to give students all the information and resources that we can and to get them engaged in what’s happening around them. So you don’t think we should give students Time magazine anymore? Fine, but give them something. We need to provide students with the resources they need to get involved. I know that I wouldn’t be involved in half the things that I am now if I hadn’t been given a Time for Kids magazine in first grade.