Politics, Teacher Neutrality, and President Trump

As a student teacher who is very politically engaged and aware, these are trying times. I definitely struggle to remain neutral when politics and current events come up in class. And, before you say "politics have no place in the classroom," I should point out that I am student teaching in two U.S. Government classes. That makes politics, at least in the abstract, tough to avoid.

I have found some guidance in a post by Benjamin Knoll in the Huffington Post. I'm hoping it will help me walk the fine line without abdicating my responsibility as a teacher to educate. Knoll writes:

"Going forward, my goal in the classroom and publicly will be to engage with my subject matter as objectively as I can while identifying and explaining when and where President-Elect Trump and his supporters are promoting ideas or proposals that would weaken America’s democratic norms, traditions, and institutions. I will also endeavor to emphasize which ideas and proposals are within the boundaries of traditional American political discourse where smart people of good faith can and do have reasonable differences of opinion, from Republicans and Democrats alike. If I do publicly share a preference, I will try to explain whether the preference is one on which reasonable people differ or whether it is one that I believe to be in defense of America’s democratic norms, traditions, and institutions."

Stephen Watkins

Husband. Dad. Former ad guy. Current grad student. Future teacher. Unrepentant geek.