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Beyond the Classroom

August 18, 2018



In Ethics from the New Millennium the Dalia Llama said,  “As I understand it, teachers who impart their knowledge to students is the most compassionate form of giving- especially when it is without any thought and it is grounded in genuine concern for others.”


Teaching is an art. I believe that the bulk of teachers get into education for two reasons: passion for their content matter, or wanting to make a difference in society.


And when passion and care for the community are involved, it’s hard to not think of politics- especially in 2018.  Activists throughout the country have been ignited by the deep divide within our country, and as a result, 157 current teachers have filed to run for state legislature across the country. 


In 2016 Jahana Hayes- who has a FASCINATING story- was named National Teacher of the Year.  On Tuesday, she won her primary in Connecticut's 5th district, possibly making her the first black Democrat to represent that state in Congress.  But she’s not the only educator who has made waves.


From “Why Teachers Are Going From Classrooms To Campaign Trails

In Wisconsin, the state school superintendent, Tony Evers, became the Democratic nominee for governor this week. And he'll be taking on Republican incumbent Scott Walker, who is interestingly associated with taking away a lot of the bargaining power of public employees, including teachers, in that state…. Evers is using slogans like ‘what's best for kids is best for our state.’ They're drawing connections between teaching and bread-and-butter issues, not just education but public services, health care, jobs, housing that all affect kids.”


The role of the teacher in the ‘fake news’ era has shown how that our education system has not done a good enough job of teaching young adults how to think critically.  The difference between what is real or fake online has become much harder to decipher.  Bots are frequently misdirecting social media users both young and old.  Propaganda is seemingly everywhere you look. 


Now more than ever, teachers play a crucial role in trying to stitch our nation back together. That’s because each day, we get to interact with and help mold the building blocks to our future.   Teaching not just critical thinking skills, but empathy, compassion, gratitude- all the skills that a successful society needs.


As the school year starts back up, I believe we as educators are ready to team back up with parents and coaches to remind our youth that what we are seeing in the world right now can be changed.  Reminding them that we are better when we come together.


And I hope on November 7th we get a chance to make that message heard beyond just our classrooms.

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