Searching for Ethical Footing in a Time of Reform
Edited By Brian Charest and Kate Sjostrom
Unsettling Education: Searching for Ethical Footing in a Time of Reform offers a counter-narrative to the prevailing orthodoxies of schooling and school reform that conflate education and learning with that which can be measured on state-mandated examinations. Despite the push to "settle" the purposes of teaching and schooling in ways that see education as the teaching of a discrete set of skills that align with standardized exams, there are teachers and students who continue to resist standardization and whose stories suggest there are many ways to organize schools, design curriculum, and understand the purposes of education. Unsettling Education shares stories of how teachers have resisted state and local mandates to teach to the test in dehumanizing ways, how such teachers have sought to de-commodify educational spaces, how they have enacted their ethical commitments to students and communities, and how they have theorized such practices, sometimes even reconsidering their roles as teachers and the very purposes of schooling. Volume contributors offer concrete ways in which teachers might challenge the structures of schooling to reveal the full humanity and potential of students through different forms of resistance pedagogy, institutional critiques, and critical self-reflection. Featuring a wide range of voices and contexts, the collections’ chapters blend story and theory, resulting in a volume both accessible and thought-provoking to varied audiences—from undergraduate students of education and concerned citizens to veteran educators, teacher educators, administrators, and policymakers.
9. A Look Into Leaving: Learning From One Equity-Oriented Teacher’s Resignation (Samantha Young / Deborah Bieler)
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9. A Look Into Leaving: Learning From One Equity-Oriented Teacher’s Resignation
SAMANTHA YOUNG AND DEBORAH BIELER
Sam, September 1, 2015, 1:05 p.m.
“Hey Sam,” I hear my principal say, cheerfully. “Do you have a minute?”
For him, I do. He stops by my classroom often, always making the walk down to my room, rather than emailing or asking that I come down to his office. Since I am now the English Department chair, he defers to me on every decision that affects the department.
“Sure,” I say, as I hop off the student’s desk I’m standing on to staple a bulletin board. It reads: “Attitude—Step One: ‘I can.’ Step Two: ‘I will.’”
His eyes glance out my window, then back to me. “Ms. T has officially accepted a learning support coach position. Her last day will be this Friday.”
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