Lehre Ist Tot
This past week an early career teacher, highly regarded in the classroom and very accomplished in the field of education, received a parental request that a student not be required to read The Great Gatsby. That parent, however, had signed a consent agreement with all texts, including that novel, identified as required reading at the beginning of the course.
The parent then reached out to the administration, who confirmed that the teacher had to assign a different work. This, of course, undermines the teacher and the process established, but it also creates more work for teachers already under incredible strain.
While parental oversight of assigned reading has been common in education for decades, this situation comes as states are increasingly passing parental trigger legislation, which moves the parental power from each parent’s own children to parents being able to ban works for all teachers or students to explore in classes.
That same teacher, frustrated and disillusioned, later that day read aloud their resignation letter to me in the context of telling me that much that they had taught in the first three years of teaching could no longer be taught in the last couple years — and increasingly will be directly banned in the coming year (as my home state is poised to pass its own educational gag order this spring).
The teacher cried while reading the letter aloud, and added that the resignation was depressing; this, you see, was a career they had been working toward since high school — and within 6 years, teaching is dead.
The current anti-teacher climate in the U.S. is incredibly harsh and driven by orchestrated false narratives …
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