While reading, "Out of the Dark," many statements made me wonder about the field of education and all of the politics intertwined within. So many people in the world focus on the "whats" instead of the "hows" and the "whys." When I first started teaching, I used to share stories with my mom about things/situations that happened throughout my day. She would listen and nod her head and typically respond with, "Wow, you are always so politically correct", “I could never be like that!" Her consistent responses got me thinking/reflecting and I was actually proud of myself that I was able to bite my tongue and work through things instead of lacking a filter, unlike my beloved mother. Honestly though, I took her statement as a compliment. :)
In, "Out of the Dark," Neutrality was a section (small but mighty) that actually struck a pretty large cord with me. “Is it wrong to refuse to accept education the way it is today? What good is there in pushing back, will it change anything? These questions remain unanswered, but there is one given, which is, is it unethical to do nothing? The educator does not have the right to be silent just because he or she has to respect the culture" (Samford, 2016, pg. 26). This is exactly how I felt! I felt as though I had to "toe the line", be careful NOT to ruffle feathers, go into my classroom and stay in my secluded little bubble, etc.
As the years went by, I realized this was not what I wanted. Why couldn't I collaborate with others? Why couldn't I plan lessons with team members based on student need instead of following the prescribed Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 plan as though I was a robot? Our district was changing but only when the administration wanted it to. In the beginning, it worked in our favor, but then it all stopped. If it isn't a top-down decision, it won't happen. Why is this? Why can't teacher leaders be involved in the district plans? Why can't the people in the trenches make decisions about what they do while in the trenches? Shouldn't the people who know children best be the ones making the decisions that affect them? Or at least be part of the decision making process? The problem so many of us face is, what will be the repercussions of our outspoken behaviors? Will we lose our jobs considering it's easy to hire someone new who will toe the line? How is someone supposed to be confident enough to stand up for what they believe in, without having the fear of the recourse?