March 29, 2009
...Teacher - the activist ( Part 2)
A teacher is an activist, and has to lead by example. Students have to see you fight injustice around you, even if it's about dealing with the structural inequities of the school itself, especially ones that relate to the students. They must see you take on their cause and fight for it. If the students can see you fighting for them, they will better be able to address the inequities and injustice in their own lives. Furthermore it also makes them cognizant of your love for them. A teacher is in fact an advocate of love; not the feeling , but the love that manifests itself in action.
Bell Hooks talks about love as "the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth." The ways in which the teacher opens the curriculum up to a student or a group of students is the first way that she can express her love to a student. As a teacher, she can empower the student to leave his comfort zone and venture into areas thus far challenging or even unexplored. Then, by encouraging the student to 'feel comfortable being uncomfortable' the teacher plants and fosters risk taking abilities in the student. A skill that'll forever come handy to the student when going down untrodden paths or etching out new ones!
...to be continued