For William and Stacey Hetrick and any teacher or educator who cares the way they do.
There is a weird dichotomy between the ability to learn and confidence. Every day that I get a little less dumb, I become a little more aware of how dumb I was the day before and a little less confident that what I think today is not dumb.
The inevitability of learning in the present is realizing the ignorance of your past.
The Backstory and Inspiration
I know many educators who are open-minded, tactful, and mentally capable of adapting when presented with new information and ways of thought. That’s how Darwin would have determined their value. When we are presented with new and more accurate information and choose to overlook it based on some misplaced sense of pride in the sometimes mistaken, sometimes short-sighted, sometimes purposely inaccurate, antiquated ways we were once taught, we fail ourselves–we fail our children. Quality educators don’t see this option as a possibility. Their conscience wouldn’t allow it. Their passions are not based on unfounded egos. It would defy their goal.
The best are careful. The best change and regret the old, broken tools they were given to carry out their calling. The best see the advantages of an evolving curriculum. The best give your children the opportunity to make decisions and build their mindsets and preferences based on the most accurate, up-to-date, and unbiased information. I’ve known a few like this, and they can be found defending the hill of objectivity, empathy, compassion, and knowledge—however detrimental to our delicate, affected, subjective minds. We could all take a cue from their impassioned guidance. I thought of the teachers struggling with the current climate of the educational system as it is under the constant barrage of politicization and empowered ignorance when I wrote this piece. I hope they will continue to fight for all of us despite the reluctance of the worst of us.
Listen to this episode with bonus content below, and please share it with your favorite teachers.