I ask myself this question regularly these days. While both sides decide what will happen next, it's possible that we, as teachers, may forget what we do and why. Below is my response to the question.
I invite all Chicago public school teachers to post--in about 100 words--why they teach in their own words, in their own way.
The politics will continue to play out. Our profession, however, must emphasize the importance of our work. Log in with your Facebook account or email me (see Contact Ray).
I teach writing because it nourishes emotions and augments the mind. We hear and use words so casually these days that they become like oxygen: assumed and undervalued. Often too easily accepted, words lose their worth or gain unmerited importance. I teach writing so students remember that just as there are unending possibilities to use language, there are unending possibilities to create a future beyond any overwhelming circumstance. As we learn the guidelines for accomplished writing, we defy the boundaries of audience so that our words and our experiences become one universal wisdom among us that engages us to feel, to think, to speak, to ask, “What do I believe?”
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