How Might We Be Our Best Educator Selves Despite the Politics of Now?
Dan Ryder

Well written, Dan. I have been reminded of one of the tenets in a school I frequently work in and that is: “Seek first to understand.” It popped in my mind as I read your list. I wonder if what we find challenging (all of us and certainly many groups of people more than others) is posses defensiveness about our identity when it contrasts with another person’s set of beliefs. But I’m gonna say…we are in a democracy! We are allowed to do this. Democracy never means being in agreement, it means listening- as you note — and understanding that everyone has a set of truths. We also have the right to revise our thinking-another freedom. However, this does come down to the challenge to being an educator — being an advocate for all students, not remaining neutral, while still holding your own truths. It is quite the place to be. And on a different note, this made me laugh: “My students tend to be less verbose than I tend to recall.” I applaud you for sharing the moment that broke you because I know that this means the chance at being called out for not being “broke” earlier…but that’s ok. We move forward.