Gaining Confidence

Teaching Controversial Content (199)

-Kelley Dawson Salas

Salas describes mental frustrations new teachers may encounter in trying to teach toward social justice, and how teachers may feel refrained; due to worries of bringing up controversial subject matter that may risk their reputation and job.  Developing through experience Salas shares how a fellow colleague helped by saying, “the person who has control over what happens in my classroom is me” (202).  Bringing up controversial matters is easier said than done; however, informing administrators, colleagues, parents and the community, of your plans and how they fit into the curriculum standards eases the tension.  Furthermore, understanding the community and the school you are in helps to develop appropriate subject matter.  Reaching out to the surrounding environment helps to build the classroom environment to incorporate social justice where common ground is easier to obtain, in case of conflicting interests.

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