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A perspective here:

During student teaching, whenever my lessons were observed or critiqued, the criticisms leveled were not focused on my command of the material, my presence, or my ability to convey information, nor were they questions about my ability to engage students or plan lessons. The criticisms I received were almost always about some “implicit bias” or slip of the tongue, some unconscious stereotype or microaggression. One example will suffice: While teaching S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders to 8th graders, I introduced the class to the actor Paul Newman, a 1960s heart-throb and celebrity fixation for characters in the book. I then briefly mentioned his charity work with Newman’s Own. After the lesson, my professor told me that my comment may have referenced “privilege” and “alienated some of the students who were poor and likely could not afford to buy Newman’s Own products.” The irony is that the rural town in which I taught this lesson only has a few restaurants, the cheapest being McDonald’s–which exclusively serves Newman’s Own coffee and salad dressing. This punctilious language-policing was a daily regularity in our program, and our constant awareness of it produced a frustrated hesitancy in our teaching, as well as an Orwellian dullness in our verbal expression.

Now lest I sound like a disenfranchised conservative, I should add that I consider myself both a pluralist and a liberal democrat who is passionate about free speech and expression

 

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