Thursday, October 11, 2018

Good for you, Ann Althouse!

She writes,
What if your child's teacher thought this about your son: "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time"?
Teachers want us to believe that they love children and care for and support them. They have — through the compulsion of the state — the opportunity to observe them and interact with them for long hours and many days in their formative years. To trust teachers in that role, we need to believe that if they saw that our child was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time, their heart would go out to our poor little child, and they'd talk with us and try to help. Or maybe we would wonder whether the teacher understands psychological diversity. Why is she tagging our child as "a loner" rather than appreciating the introvert or trying to figure out if there's some unseen burden making the child withdrawn? The teacher shouldn't be like another one of the children, who decide that a kid is a weirdo and shun him. But imagine a teacher who remembers the children she thought about as a weirdo, waited decades, and when that fellow human being achieved some success in his adult life, she wrote a newspaper column to tell the world "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time."

This is Nikki Fiske, Stephen Miller's Third-Grade Teacher. Stephen Miller is a Trump political adviser. Maybe Nikki Fiske was lured into "writing" this article. I put "writing" in quotes because the byline is "Nikki Fiske, as told to Benjamin Svetkey." I hope she's dreadfully sorry at her terrible breach of a teacher's moral responsibility toward a child. I was a teacher for more than 30 years, and my students were all adults, but I have never — in all the tens of thousands of blog posts I've dashed off and published impulsively — even considered naming one of my students and saying something negative I thought I observed about their personality.
Read more here.

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