Sunday, February 15, 2009

Teaching as Activism & Social Responsibility

Quick post. I'm keeping to a minimum for the sake of writing too much too soon.

Over dinner last night my dear friend Tyrtle told me her plans to become a high school teacher. Perhaps I am a little biased, but I think she should do it because she is perfectly suited for the job.

Tyrtle is the kind of person who can not stand idly by when she knows there is a job to do somewhere. She is the dirtiest dirty hippie I know. She does her part to greenify her life and the lives of others around her. To her, being green is being responsible and helping where she can. Such is her philosophy with her career path.

Tyrtle has been wanting to join the Peace Corps for years. For her, the Peace Corps is about being responsible and doing her part to fix global atrocities. She is frustrated at her current job because there is none of this going on. She takes classes and learns the statistics of war torn poverty stricken nations and then squirms when she remembers where she is. Armed with knowledge and a tool to make a difference, she leaves the massive lecture hall ready to make a difference. But what about after that? What career goals can a passionate science minded woman select when she feels an overwhelming obligation to make a difference in the world? Why, teaching, of course.

Teaching is about making a difference. It is the only thing I have found that seamlessly intertwines activism and social responsibility. I have the awesome ability, obligation and privilege to show my students that they can accomplish their goals. Tyrtle thinks the same way. She admits she can not save the world alone, but she is ready and willing to take on the responsibility of shaping and molding the leaders of tomorrow one science class at a time.


  1. I find it fitting that your politically active friend's name is Tyrtle. It sounds like she was meant to be an activist from the start :).

  2. Her name isn't really Tyrtle. She happens to really love turtles. I change names to protect the innocent. :) Though, after reading this she said she is going to start introducing herself as Tyrtle.


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