Sometimes teaching English language arts can be uncomfortable.

Sometimes I select books that bring up painful, divisive topics —racism, poverty, sexism.

Sometimes people question whether school is the right place for such topics.

I zip my lips, sometimes—choose safe books.

I’ve got to pick my battles, right?

I forget why I thought being a teacher was a good idea.

Suddenly, I begin to think, A teacher is not in the business of change. Education is not connected to changing, right?

Then Jerome Harste says,

…curriculum is metaphor
for the lives we want to live and the people we
want to be….That’s what teaching is all
about. That’s what makes us come back and why
we love the title, ‘Teacher.’ None of us got into
the profession to see how quietly we can march
kids to the bathroom, or take them to lunch” (p. 26).



Collopy, T. (2013). Jerry Harste: Still challenging the curriculum, decades into his career. Council Chronicle, 23(2), 23-26.