Opinion
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Can Educators Agree to Disagree Respectfully?

June 07, 2022 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I was disappointed to read the following in the article, “Teacher Morale Is at a Low Point. Here’s Where Some Are Finding Hope” (May 4, 2022):

“At the same time, a slew of new state laws have placed restrictions on how teachers can discuss race, gender, and other so-called ‘divisive’ issues in the classroom. Educators say that these bans have limited their ability to teach an accurate account of history and a diversity of literature, and that the legislation has put a target on teachers’ backs in the culture wars.”

Beyond the controversies, I see a much bigger problem when we don’t acknowledge that there are strong, defensible differences in perspectives about such topics. While it would be helpful to read examples of where a teacher could not teach a topic accurately or was unable to teach a diversity of literature, I see the words, ‘so-called ‘divisive’” as dismissive and condescending.

The only teachers that I am aware of with compelling concerns within this challenge are the ones who are highly motivated to advance their own worldviews about the aforementioned topics. It would have been more helpful for me to see specific examples of “little-to-no diversity” and “inaccuracy” in specific curricula that comply with the new legislation compared with specific examples of “unlimited diversity” that don’t.

Lane H. Walker
Educator
Apex, N.C.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 08, 2022 edition of Education Week as Can Educators Agree to Disagree Respectfully?

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession How Teachers Are Spending Their Summer Vacation
Swimming, hiking, and an occasional academic project are on the agenda.
1 min read
Lifeguards watch over children and their families as they enjoy the shallow end of the Woodson Family Aquatic Center on the opening day of the 2022 pool season Saturday, May 28, 2022 in Odessa, Texas.
Lifeguards watch over children and their families at the Woodson Family Aquatic Center as pool season opens in Odessa, Texas.
Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP
Teaching Profession Q&A The First 5 Years in the Classroom Are Tough. This Teacher Has Ideas to Lessen the Burden
A middle school teacher talks about why educators need to share stories about their jobs—and find schools that reflect their values.
7 min read
Patrick Harris
Patrick Harris
Teaching Profession Teachers in Texas Shooting Died Trying to Shield Students, Their Families Say
Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, both veteran teachers, co-taught a 4th grade class at their Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.
3 min read
Fourth grade co-teachers Irma Garcia, left, and Eva Mireles.
Fourth grade co-teachers Irma Garcia, left, and Eva Mireles, were killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, alongside 19 children.
Courtesy of Uvalde CISD
Teaching Profession Teachers Often Don't Get Lunch or Bathroom Breaks. That's Why Some States Guarantee Them
As concerns about keeping teachers mount, could laws assuring duty-free breaks help?
2 min read
Image of thirty minutes on a clock.
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week and iStock/Getty