Many passages this year, including several beloved colleagues and friends, along with the scores of service women and men dying in the Middle East and the attempted annihilation of entire countries and cultures by empire-building neo-fascists in the West. And the children? We hear little of what is happening to schooling, teaching, and school-based education in general. Unfortunately, children and youth of the Middle East are getting an informal education of fear, hatred, and disgust of anything western ... much of it merited. Voices and words of protesters, writers, teachers, musicians, and kids ring to non-listening ears as the current politicos in North America and abroad bulldoze themselves into the lives and cultures of first, Iraq, now Lebanon, and most probably, Iran. Will it end?
And what will our stories be? What will our texts read? Will social studies students of 2016 know of the attempts to colonize and displace thousands of human beings? Will they know of the unabashed hatred of cultural groups of people? Of the incredible ignorance and stupidity that a world power can possess? Will they learn of power? Who has power? Who is exempt from apology, retreat, and humanity?
We plug along, this little radical contingent of teachers, students, and parents. We try to do our bit for social justice, for attempting to reach our students to learn to read power, read the world, and intellectually overthrow injustice. I know we try. You know there aren't very many of us. I think we may be so comfortable with our colleagues and friends of similar ilk, that we really don't see that beyond, maybe two or three thousand people, there are very few who would claim to be radical educators. We certainly don't see them in droves in our own organizations, campuses, or communities.
Let's cherish our tiny group of radical readers, writers, teachers, and students. And hope that some of their words reach the right ears, and they listen.