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Monday, July 29, 2019

Radical against the unimaginable

Looking back from 64 and decades of being a teacher I have found the new normal is an unimaginable betrayal of childhood, learning, teaching, and public education.

If one of my teacher educators professors had said someday future teachers will have to defend play in the classroom, play in the schoolyard, recess, imagination, inquiry, curiosity, equity for all? That standing up for these things would be radical.

I would think her or him insane or if I accepted it as truth? I might have gotten up, and chosen some other profession. The new status quo for teachers at every level in America is to go along to get along. Stay quiet, or you'll be punished by the wealthy, the powerful, and the connected.

The New Radical
Teachers keep your heads down,
Be quiet,
Say nothing publicly.
Do this, and we'll let you get by.
Teachers, be silent and be safe.

To stand up for the truth in education is the new radical,
To stand up for Black, Brown, Speical Education, and Poor Children is the New Radical,
To stand up for a living wage for all is the New Radical.

To fight for health care for all is the New Radical,
To fight for our elders to retire with economic dignity is the new Radical.
To fight against hate is the New Radical,
To fight racism, sexism, homophobia, religious bigotry is the New Radical,
To fight for the union is the New Radical,
To fight for affordable Higher Education,
To fight White Supremacy in the public schools is the New Radical.

To stand up for play, imagination, gym, art, music, in public education is the New Radical.
To stand up for school librarians and libraries is the New Radical,
To stand against a School To Prison Pipeline that dooms children of color,
To stand up and fight back is radical.

I know who I am,
I know where I stand,
Call this teacher RADICAL

The new normal in public education demands an end to teacher silence and apathy,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Radical Educator For Justice For All

I know what Radical looks like, for I have stood on that stage with Radical Educators who stand and fight back in the classroom and outside the classroom every day.

I know what Radical looks like because my rank and file sisters and brothers have met with Chigaco Teacher Rank and File leaders. We have broke bread together in Chicago. We have embraced a radicalism for justice in and outside the schools and the communities we teach in at every level of education.

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today? Its Rebel Diaz's tribute to Chicago teachers.

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