David Blight: “Trust the Teachers”

Bettmann / Getty; The Atlantic
November 22, 2021

The following article written by David W. Blight, professor of American history and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale MacMillan, appeared in The Atlantic:

Every effective American teacher seeks the trust of society, of parents, and of theyoung people they teach. Public education as a whole depends on these bonds oftrust. Our divisive politics regarding how to teach children about slavery, race, andother difficult subjects in school has broken that trust.Anyone who has ever taught for one day knows that trust must be earned. Facing aclassroom full of 14- or 16-year-olds with varying degrees of attention andpreparation on any subject is one of the hardest and most important of all professions.What American teachers most need is autonomy, community respect, the right tosome creativity within their craft, time to read, and, perhaps above all, support fortheir intellectual lives. Most would not mind a pay raise. 

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