Sometimes (not often enough) I try to give a gift to my future self. This week, I am giving my future self the gift of time. Thus, even though school doesn’t start until Monday, I have been at school this week getting as much done as possible, so that the “me” of next week has a bit of an easier time.
The benefit of being on campus this week is that many of us who are there aren’t as hurried as we will be next week. Thus, we actually stop in the hallways to chat with each other. I love that part of this week, because during the school year, I rarely have time to talk to even my best friends on campus.
So this week, as I have chatted with people in the hallways, I have gotten questions about the upcoming election cycle. People know that I am paying attention to current, and they flat-out ask me, “So, who are we voting for in such-and-such race?”
I like the “we” part, by the way. To some small extent, perhaps we are a voting block on my campus.
There are big problems in this state, most of which I wouldn’t even begin to know how to solve. The immigration issue, for example, is such a big issue that I only have my own opinion, and I barely stand by that opinion because I just don’t know what the right answer is. I do know about education, though, and I think I even know a bit about how to solve some of the problems, so I am looking at candidates through the lens of education this year. There are a few Republicans that I am rooting for in various races, even though I am a registered Independent (I call myself fiscally conservative but socially liberal, and I won’t capitulate on social issues, which makes me a Democrat, I suppose).
Anyway, three or four times this week, I have mentioned Republicans’ names for various races.
I suppose it’s no big surprise that most teachers are Democrats, so I thought that I would be met with some resistance.
However, there wasn’t any. OK…I’m fibbing…maybe there was a tiny bit; or maybe it was just shock I was seeing on faces, rather than resistance.
I think that this is the first election cycle that I’ve seen teachers openly talking about politics. Sure, we discuss politics with our very closest friends at lunch, perhaps, but teachers on my campus generally don’t discuss politics beyond that. However, in recent months, I’ve learned the political persuasions of people with whom I have worked for years—some of which was unexpected.
All of this gives me a bit of peace, because here’s the thing: I think that, as far as education is concerned, we’ve come to a time when perhaps we need to be a bit more politically involved and a bit more bipartisan. Maybe it’s unrealistic to expect that of society as a whole, but it’s apparently realistic to expect it of teachers—at least at my site.
To me, it seems like a gift to our future selves. The more we are involved today, the better chance we have of making things better for our future selves and—more importantly—for our future students.