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When Politics Enters The Classroom

I have heard a number of people say that teachers should just stick to the content and not teach politics. Internally, I have always known this to be some sort of logical fallacy. The thought that teaching is an apolitical act has never sat well with me. Sure there were always people who could put it into perspective and explain it in such a way that I had never thought of before. But yesterday changed that for me in the oddest way possible. 

I was watching the HBO miniseries called John Adams. I think you can figure out what the show is about. In the second episode, Abigail Adams makes a retort to John’s assertion that women don’t belong in politics by asking him if the women of the household didn’t feel politics when their cupboards were empty of coffee, sugar, and flour. I’m not sure why, but this somehow made it click in my brain as an argument for teaching and politics. The politics we feel in the classrooms are in the budgets that we receive. We feel the politics of policies that impact our students and their families. From the local policies such as zoning for houses to the state and federal policies of taxes that impact where those families choose to work and live. 

In an almost humorous way, politics entered the classroom today as the male senior students made light of the possibility of war. As much as they were joking about it, the tension is real. The acts that we commit as a country have real impact both abroad and at home. 

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