One example of responsible exercise of influence.

I like reading Jose Vilson‘s blog.  I don’t always agree with everything, but his candidness and thoughts concerning his role as a teacher, a role model, etc is always interesting to read.

The following blurb is an excerpt from his reflections on the death of Osama bin Laden.   I share this because I agree with his take and because I think he wrote it so eloquently.  In addition, his account on how he went about relating these events to his students also resonated with me because I wonder what it’s going to be like to have deep beliefs yet “practice restraint” with future student sponges.

Patriotism is implicitly an exercise in trust. Even when we don’t believe everything our government says, those with any inkling of patriotism or nationalism believe that the government and its people have the best of intentions when they run the country. For anyone who took a deeper look at the story of Osama bin Laden’s death, one has to question many aspects of what happened, but even those who do still trust that Barack Obama and Co. did the best job possible.

Unfortunately for that crowd, I dissent there. 9/11 happened. Osama bin Laden’s death happened. People died needlessly. People continue to die needlessly. Young boys are playing grown men’s games for them overseas. Everything else leaves me questioning everything else. So instead of celebrating on the streets, I tried to get some rest for the the next day.

Yet despite his first intentions of “infusing the facts with [his] own opinion  knowing that this was a prime opportunity to get her and everyone else within earshot to question the things she was learning how to trust”, he answers the questions of a certain student pretty cleanly.

When I reenter the realm of teaching, I wonder what it will be like to answer my students’ questions about current societal issues.  On one hand, you have this role as an educator, but on the other, I think true teachers are so much more than that.  But then again, you’re not the parent; yet, you are being entrusted with the child by the parent for 1/3 of the day!  Plus, how possible is it to teach “objectively” – a valuable education is the ability to apply what you learn to your life- how does one extract her thoughts and beliefs when modeling life?


2 responses to “One example of responsible exercise of influence.

  1. Junia, thanks for your thoughts. As an educator, I’ve learned that it’s important to not impose your own views on someone else … unless they’re absolutely curious. For example, while many believe that all poor Black and Latino people should be liberals, many of them have conservative values, partly due to religion, partly due to culture. Good luck in your journey.

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