Teaching # 101: The Meeting

If you read the previous post, you know about my dilemma. My school is coming after books, and I am running a Student Book Club in perhaps my most misguided attempt at protecting them.

After my conversation with my principal, I felt I needed to inform the other teachers of what they will be getting themselves into.

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

The meeting was really tense. I am not going to try and sugarcoat it. It was strained and a bit disappointing. For my part, I just tried to convey the same tone and sentiment as my principal.

“He said that if I did this, he couldn’t help me,” I said solemnly.

“What does that even mean?” the Social Studies teacher asked. To be honest, I thought he would be the most fired up about this, but I could tell by his face he was nervous…scared even.

“It means he has no power to protect us,” the librarian said firmly but with a slight smile. Her support is unwavering. Our librarian is a fighter; perhaps this is the best chance she has of going down with the ship.

The art teacher is quiet. He doesn’t say much, and out of everyone in the group, I expect him to give up first.

“What are you thinking?” I ask. “You look pretty deep in thought.”

“Yeah, this is just a lot to process. When I came down here, I didn’t think this is what the meeting was going to be about.” I laughed nervously.

“Look,” I said. “You don’t have to do this. I feel like I have to do this. I cannot go back into my classroom and teach books about people risking everything to stand up for what they believe in, and I can’t even attempt to read books with kids. If this is it, if this truly is what gets me out of teaching here, it’s worth it. Because you know what? I don’t want to teach in a place where the parents are going to run me out of the school for reading books with kids. It will mean I no longer belong here, and I am at peace with that. But I get it. This might not be where you are, and seriously, no judgment. I understand.” I tried to make eye contact with all of them, but it was only the librarian who looked at me.

“Yeah,” the art teacher finally responded. “I’m going to need some time.” The social studies teacher agreed.

Part of me had hoped my impassioned speech was going to be enough. I continued by trying to stress strength in numbers and even mentioned Dumbledore’s Army for Hogwarts, but it was all met with a tepid reaction.

Only our librarian rallied, but I think because this is her fight, maybe even her last stand. Her eyes filled up with tears as she told us that the next book the parents are going after is Sold.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” she said. And she’s right. It doesn’t make sense and it’s not right, but that is not stopping anything.

Love and Light.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com