No one cares what you think

Emily Cosio, News Editor

Discussing politics can easily upset people, even if it is at home. But bringing politics to the classroom has to be done delicately so teachers and students can prevent annoying and bothering one another.

In many classes, like history and English, political discussion can never be completely avoided. When politics are mentioned in textbooks or in an essay, teachers should absolutely teach and explain to their students the lesson and how it ties into the political text. While discussing politics mentioned directly in the lesson is fine, teachers should not be throwing in their own political asides. For example, teachers will sometimes relate a lesson to politics of today. Even if the lesson takes place over a century ago, some teachers still feel the need to throw in their opinion to get a chuckle out of the class.

It is not acceptable when teachers who teach subjects like math and science talk about politics.  If a student asks a teacher for their opinion, the teacher should have a ready, standard comment, along the lines of “no comment”.  If all teachers use this best practice, students would stop asking and more time could be used for instruction, not veering off topic.

Throughout the school year a student should never know where their teacher politically stands and same goes the other way around. It is not appropriate for teachers and students to be discussing their personal opinions in school.  Parents would be upset if teachers talked about their religious or personal finances.

Even when teachers think that all the students may agree with them, sharing their opinions can make a few students uncomfortable. Teachers could be telling these students that their political stance is wrong and make them feel bad about their own opinions. Teachers will continue this behavior because the majority of the class will chuckle. And if a student disagrees with the teacher, the teacher may hold it against them subconsciously.  That student may no longer be treated 100% unbiased and fairly. On the other hand, a student may no longer respect a teacher who differs from them. Learning can be hampered since they may not pay as much attention to the teacher.

In classes where politics must be discussed, teachers should refrain from any of their personal opinions. They should also always present both sides of an argument. Teachers should make their students look at different stances and how to take their own stance. With social media influencing people’s’ everyday life, it is extremely easy for a student’s opinion to be altered by others perspective. Students do not also need the opinion from their teachers.

Teachers can have multiple documents or essays for which students can see two sides of an issue. Classes could also have mock debates, giving students the opportunity to argue for side that may or may not agree with. Teachers should be teaching their students skills necessary to be an open-minded citizen. Teachers shoving their opinions on students takes away the students’ opportunity to formulate their own opinion.

Some teachers need to learn to hold back their opinions when they are teaching. While they think they are just making a joke, it is unacceptable and will cause students to be upset.