The practice comes in so many ways.
Using fear or shame to silence critics…
I sit in my field, education,
Watching how other professions
Squander opportunities to make real change,
And I hope
We do not fall to the subtle forces of
Where politics has its party system
With planks and talking points,
We, in education, have the responsibility
To teach a diversity of thought.
Where law enforcement might have its thin blue line,
We, in education, have the unique position
Of being able to challenge institutional beliefs.
Where trades might have allegiance to a union,
We, in education, can stand for workers’ rights
While also questioning the mob mentality inherent with our union membership.
Where religion has its dogma as a spiritual foundation,
We, in education, are in a position to help others understand
There are many different interpretations to the existence of man
And each has its place without the insistence of
The potential of education is enlightenment.
Not enlightenment of doctrine,
Enlightenment of thought.
Not enlightenment silence,
Enlightenment of communication.
Not enlightenment through organizational coercion,
Enlightenment through rich learning experiences.
Not enlightenment of a singular belief,
Enlightenment worthy of the richness of our ability to think
And our choice to live those beliefs for the benefit of all.
I know my profession, with learning as its goal,
Knows the world is bigger than any arbitrary acceptance of facts.
I know my profession, with diversity as its goal,
Sees the process of learning beyond the boundaries of self-imposed limitations.
I know my profession, with preparation as its goal,
Understands that students must fully understand ugliness
To make the meaningful changes humanity desperately needs.
I know this because I sort of see it,
But I worry we, too, are being gobbled up by