I had lunch with a friend who teaches at a private school. A few parents are making a lot of demands over what is taught and how it is taught. They say Poe is too gory and bloody, that certain passages in a grammar book teach feminism and climate change, and that they want a lecture format, none of this collaborative learning stuff.
This week I am voicing appreciations, and today I am appreciative of my freedom in the classroom. This does not mean a free-for-all. I am discerning, and of course I review everything for appropriateness for the age. I am grateful I am encouraged to have my students ask big questions, to think deeply about things that are happening in the world, to collaborate and debate and discuss. I am glad no one can tell me I should be teaching the bible in literature class. Or how I should grade papers. Or what kind of written pieces the students should bring home.
With all the issues in public education, I am glad to be in a place where my choices count. I can bring an authentic experience to my students without interference. And that is what makes teaching so worthwhile.