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"The Longer I Teach, the Less Certain I Am of What I Know"

What one educator taught another about what teaching really means.

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The small person
Builds cages for everyone
She
Sees.

Instead, the sage,
Who needs to duck her head,
When the moon is low,
Can be found dropping keys, all night long
For the beautiful,
Rowdy,
Prisoners.

For too many students, education too often feels like a cage. If we aren’t careful, we teachers can find ourselves building cages, guarding cages, and then locking ourselves inside those cages.

Jim Koplin never stopped dropping keys for me. To honor his memory, I will try to do the same for my students.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center in Austin. He is the author of Arguing for Our Lives (City Lights, 2013) and All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice (Soft Skull Press, 2009) among other works. He can be reached at rjensen@austin.utexas.edu. Twitter: @jensenrobertw.

 
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