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View Diary: Something weird has happened - (86 comments)

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  •  This is great but are you sure that teaching is (2+ / 0-)
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    spacecadet1, Sixty Something

    the best use of your time right now?

    Any chance you could become a full time activist on the issue?  Any chance of getting paid on the lecture circuit? Write a book maybe?

    You seem to have found something that many of us seek but few of us ever find:   influence and respect.   I really hope you can find a to maximize the overall societal benefit you can provide with the position in which you now find yourself.


    •  Yes, it is and let me explain why (4+ / 0-)

      first, when I write about the issues of education, the fact that I am classroom based gives a cogency and a power (as well as a legitimacy) to what I offer.  I have an acquaintance who when he would lobby on the Hill would often bring me along because I could speak from the context of the classroom which gave greater power to what he was trying to teach the electeds and their staff.  

      Second, while I am in the classroom I am having an impact first on the students I teach, then also on their families.  It is something that apparently is lasting -  one of those perhaps responsible for this piece going viral again is a young man to whom I taught 9th grade US History as we were changing our sequence of courses, and then AP Govt as a sophomore.  When he posted about this he wrote

      I was lucky enough to have several great teachers in high school who knew there was more to education than teaching to the test. Kenneth Bernstein, the author of this piece, was one of them. Well said.
        I remember one incident in Government - at the time he was very conservative politically.  The issue of the NSA was current because Risen's piece had finally been published in the New York Times.  He said he had no trouble trusting Bush with that power.

      So I asked him whom among possible Democratic presidential candidates he most hated or feared.  He practically spit out the words "Hillary Clinton."  I asked if he would be willing to trust her with the same power.   He is very pale and very blonde, but you could see the blood drain from his face.  I then pointed out that the issues should be the power of the office, not of the person, because we were in theory of government of laws and not of men.

      He remembered that.

      He also over time changed his politics, in part because of experiences in college.   He has posted here, specifically about when he met Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign.  

      It is the ripple effect of what happens in the classroom and in the continuing relationships that is most important.  That is real.  That leverages things in ways that some may not grasp, but I do.  It is in part my understanding of the words of Henry Adams,

      A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 05:45:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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