Teacher Activism in the Age of Trump

A Year in a Suburban High School

  • Aaron Byrum Pseudonym, High School Teacher
Keywords: teaching activism, privilege, implicit bias, social justice

Abstract

What follows is the story of a year working for social justice in a suburban high school, the year Trump was elected. It was a tumultuous year, but the challenges of teacher activism in any given year are similar. This piece reflects on the different demands and manifestations of teacher activism and explores the nature of what it means to daily identify as a teacher-activist. Names have been changed, including that of the author. The school depicted is in an upper-class, predominantly White community in New England. A small minority of students of Color attend, mostly through School Choice programs. At the time of this writing, there were no teachers of Color. This piece is part of a larger work in progress, Teaching to Kill a Mockingbird: A Social Justice Lens for the 21st Century.

Author Biography

Aaron Byrum, Pseudonym, High School Teacher

Aaron Byrum is a high school English teacher and anti-racist activist in Western Massachusetts, and a published author. She delivers workshops and professional development for teachers on anti-racism in the classroom and writers on topics related to race and identity.


The author is using a pseudonym because she fears repercussions from the school district for writing publicly about social justice.

Published
2020-04-20
Section
Creative Works & Self-Reflections