By, Kathy Six
November 1, 2022
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been absolutely unsettled when conservative news complains about public schools in a blanket statement that they are all bad. They are teaching CRT, Gender Fluidity and Sex to small children. I blink back the sting and try not to get angry. I tell myself, they just don’t understand because they’re not on the inside looking out. So I’m going to put you inside the school and help the public see with good prescription lenses. I hope by the end, you will understand and assist in helping to capture a huge portion of the population of voters who need you.
Giving Educators a Soft Place to Fall
If you were a fly on the wall and could sit in the lounges of schools all over the country, you might be shocked. Most teachers talk privately among those they trust about their dislike of what is happening in the country and particularly in the schools. More often than not, they don’t want to teach sex, gender fluidity and CRT. If their school board adopts the curriculum, they are required by their contract to teach it. Why not just say no and make the sacrifice? Isn’t the morality of the issue greater than the job? We will get to the bottom of that question later. No doubt you’ve heard about the teachers who are more than willing to teach these concepts.
Unequivocally, there are teachers who relish teaching extreme left leaning concepts. These are the teachers we hear about in the news. They are blasted from the loud speakers of every right leaning news media outlet. Parents are encouraged to pull their children from public schools. They’re told they should home school or select a Christian school. Unfortunately, this is troubling for multiple reasons.
First, most parents are working. Teaching is a full time, plus a half time job. Second, though we all went to school, teaching children the standards to function in society is a far more complex job than most parents in the populace realize. Consider this, we have all been treated by a doctor but this doesn’t make us capable of treating ourselves or our family.
Parent Child vs. Teacher Student Relationship Differ
Much like this, educating others requires research and training in methodology. Not to mention the fact that, a parent child relationship is very different from a teacher student relationship. Many parents discovered the difficulties of teaching their own child during COVID. In our district, parents gave us accolades like nothing we’d ever seen when the year ended and they’d been strapped trying to make sure their child did the learning we were unable to do. One parent said to me, “I just can’t get them to do the work.” She was stunned that the teacher was getting her son to complete his schoolwork but she was helpless to procure the same results.
We also leave a huge segment of society who have parents who will never consider homeschooling or moving their child to a Christian school simply because they have little interest in what or if their child learns. Yes, we have lots of those parents. The children then, not home schooled, would be left to the cesspool of a broken educational system because the exceptional teachers will walk out the door right behind the majority of the student body feeling unequivocally broken themselves.
So, Is It Broken?
The system is not broken. It is imperfect and in need of tender care. What we know is that teachers are some of the hardest, most dedicated people you’ll ever meet. They were likely “born” to be teachers. It is in their blood in the same way a pro baseball player likely threw a ball from toddler-hood. His drive to hit, run, catch, etc. drove him to work harder, practice longer and walk around with a glove on his hand.
Most teachers will tell you they played school as toddlers and always took the role of the teacher even in the absence of other children to play the students. When they were discouraged to avoid this demanding, underpaid, overworked profession, they pushed through. When faced with more hours in college than the average bachelor’s degree requirement of 4 years (in Michigan a teaching degree requires 5), they pushed through. Once they landed their first job, they discovered two things, the elation of a child learning something new and the overwhelming work hours that exhausted them every day. And they still pushed through.
Breaking Through the Insanity
Why would some teachers teach such harmful concepts as gender fluidity, hate for America and CRT to name a few if they know it is nefarious, indecent, and unpatriotic? Here are the likely scenarios. New teachers have just left indoctrination themselves in college. Remember how naive you were at 23? These teachers are still navigating life while carrying a huge load of responsibilities. They need others willing to break through the subterfuge colleges perpetrated on them. It takes veterans in the field who see the indoctrination to break through the insanity for these colleagues. There are plenty of us. Granted, not all newer teachers will eventually see veracity through the hypocrisy, but most will begin to see the nonsensical information higher education inculcated on them.
The Risks of Speaking Up
Even the teachers who see the deception and want no part of it, can be trapped. If the school they’ve contracted to work for has adopted an indoctrinating fringe curriculum, they cannot refuse to teach it without giving up their profession. Refusing to teach the curriculum will not just result in a firing, but finding a job anywhere else under those circumstances, impossible. After 5 grueling college years and the teacher’s exam in addition to licensing, the idea of leaving teaching is hardly a forward move. And no, unions cannot protect you from dissent of the curriculum adopted by a school board. It is in our contracts. They are highly aware of the risks in speaking up.
Veteran Teachers Have the Wisdom to Bypass Indoctrination
What about veteran teachers? Well, we can be a bit more savvy. Those teachers have a myriad of options to bypass having to teach what they know to be inherently false, immoral, unpatriotic, or, at the very least, misguided. For example, when teaching about fossils, the teacher can teach the evolution model public schools have adopted exactly as they were trained, rely exclusively on the text and ignore the family’s faith based interpretation of life. Or, a teacher with wisdom and respect for faith based interpretations can provide an option for students within the evolution model. Note the following teacher’s opening for a video that uses evolution in the explanation of Pangaea.
Teacher: This video will tell us the earth is 4.5 billion years old. If you’re a Christian, you will not agree with
this timeline. Since no human was here when the earth was being made, the theory being explained in the
video is still a theory. It is not my job to question your faith, therefore, we will allow flexibility in the concept of
how old the earth is. With that said, let’s look at the video and see what it says about the tectonic plates and
their movement that sparked the concept of the land mass Pangaea.
These are the things veteran teachers have figured out. Patriotic teachers still teach love for the country. They will teach the government as it is meant to be taught. They will provide an explanation of checks and balances, branches, levels and various components of how these parts function compared to less desirable governments such as socialism, dictatorships, monarchy’s, etc. I was actually thanked by a parent recently for doing just this. I must admit to being stunned when I was thanked for teaching concepts of the government properly.
Where Are These Awesome Teachers?
They are in your local school and they are just as frustrated as you are. They are trying to be creative in the classroom and are hoping you, as a parent, are going to fight for your child for them since they have no power to do so, at least not alone. Many are gathering now in small and large groups grasping for ways to prevent having to teach immoral or apocryphal information. You may not even know it’s happening.
Don't Assume, Ask!
The way to find out is to ask. Speak to your child’s teacher directly. Don’t assume they are on board with any of the concepts so many of us object to. If you catch them somewhere in which they have the freedom to speak openly and honestly, you may be surprised to find they are as frustrated as you are. If you discover they are no more pleased about this new indoctrination than you are, ask how you can help them. Then provide them with information on how to connect to their local GOP. They are looking for support. Give it to them.
How Do I Know It’s Indoctrination?
Let’s start by clarifying what it is and is not. It is NOT indoctrination to teach the basic understandings of subjects of math and Language Arts. Understanding the difference is easiest when seen through examples. In Social Studies, teaching historical facts as facts and providing students the opportunity to evaluate how and why they happened is NOT indoctrination. Teaching history by telling them how to interpret the events particularly based on political party affiliation IS indoctrination. Teaching the difference between historical and observable science is important. In addition, allowing students to interpret timelines according to their faith is equally as important. Teaching them to interpret the timeline as only accurate if seen through the lens of a non-God creation IS indoctrination. Teaching government is vital but teaching that other forms are superior to ours and our government is in need of reformation IS indoctrination.
So Why Then, Indoctrination to Hate America?
Liberals have become the haters of America. Since colleges have been the drivers over the last 50 plus years of indoctrination, as mentioned before, we’re now finding a plethora of teachers coming out of those colleges with degrees, as potentially imbued with extreme leftist ideas.
Keep in mind, a teacher can take a standard and skew it. Lesson plans may say they’re currently teaching Constitutional principles, however, they could use their liberal views to turn the standard into something it is not. Let’s use another example. We have a Constitution Day required in education. That means most schools require teachers to teach something about the Constitution relative to the child’s ability and age. Imagine the teacher’s latitude? Those who intend to indoctrinate will use that latitude while patriots will teach lessons as the day is intended.
A patriot will discuss the history of our founding fathers and the need for a binding document that affords its citizens freedoms granted by God, not the government. They will explain the depth of the founding father’s Christian beliefs but desire to sew tolerance of other beliefs into the government. They will explain the depth of understanding the founders had for other types of governments. They will praise the Constitutional freedoms we have. They will explain the imperfectness of our growing and developing country and why the Constitution was left open for new amendments that later provided an anti-slavery amendment and one that gave women the right to vote at a time when women had few rights.
Another teacher could take Constitution day and teach that the founding fathers wrote a document that is no longer relevant. They could say these white men hadn’t taken into account people of color or women. They could explain that the Constitution is NOT a living document. They could invite topics into the teaching like slavery and that women had not yet received the right to vote to paint the document in a negative light. In teaching this negative viewpoint, the students are unable to distinguish the difference between a growing and developing country from rhetoric that is designed to degrade the men who wrote the Constitution. This is indoctrination. There is a political spin with a purpose to develop an attitude about the founding fathers that is meant to make disgruntled children who will become disgruntled adults.
Isn’t Common Core A Big Part of the Problem?
Most parents are absolutely despondent with what they call the “new math”. Even though Common Core is also Language Arts, math is the nemesis. The problem is, they’re issue is not with Common Core, it’s with methodology. There’s plenty of confusion regarding the difference between methodology and standards. Bear with me as I get us through the difference.
Standards are a set of expectations describing what the child will know after the concept is taught. Common Core is a set of standards and was developed because the US was highly inconsistent from state to state, region to region and even county to county. The discrepancies needed to be ironed out. The Common Core was written to make sure all children had the same expectations of learning.
Standards in math and Language Arts are now the curriculum of the US. However, each state must determine which standards they will use for other subjects. Currently, districts are at will to decide whether to use national or state standards for Science and Social Studies. Our district uses a mixture of state and national standards for other subjects. You would be surprised to discover the Social Studies standards in Michigan contain absolutely nothing about liberal or conservative views. In fact, we are required to teach government structure, civic duties, geography and economics of a market economy. The concepts of these standards are fairly specific and, if followed properly, would be absolutely acceptable to any conservative parent. Indoctrination through these subjects can only occur if the teacher is intentionally working the left wing angle.
We Need Problem Solvers, Not Calculators
How these standards are taught is methodology. In other words, do I teach my student to turn the mixed fractions into improper, subtract, then revert back to mixed or do I have the student borrow from the whole and add to the fraction then subtract? Do I teach the carry method or use an area model, lattice or algebraic?
There is no doubt methodology has changed. I’ve taught fourth grade for 28 of my 29 years as an educator and we’ve gone through multitudes of methodologies. Math underwent sweeping changes about ten years ago. We were dropping rapidly in math and science behind most Asian countries. It didn’t take much research to find out why. Asian students were learning how to think about math and numbers, not just calculate. We need problem solvers, not calculators.
Problem Solving Instead of Just Solving
Teaching Kids to "Think"
It also didn’t take long for text manufacturers to realize we needed to teach kids to think about math, not just do procedural calculations. Here’s an example of a procedure: divide, multiply, subtract, carry down. Sound familiar? Of course it does because this was what you were taught to do when dividing larger numbers. If you were asked to divide 6 into 6,006,024, you would run across a series of what we called, carry downs. These were the teacher’s worst nightmares teaching division. Students would simply forget to use the arrows or place in zeroes. Answers were often extremely far off like 114 vs 1,014. Worse, students wouldn’t even recognize how incredibly far off they were. They weren’t taught to think about and manipulate the numbers. They were taught a procedure that meant little to the students doing the calculating. Only the top 10 percent of the class manipulated and thought about numbers. They were naturally inclined to do so. The rest were left with a bad taste in their mouth for math. We’re now working on teaching this type of thinking to all students. An added unexpected bonus is that we are finding the majority of students now enjoy math.
Common Core is Merely a Standard
When methodology changes, parents feel helpless in guiding their child with homework. We get that. Many teachers like myself will put videos on their website for parents to see the method being used. At first it seems much longer, but the ultimate purpose is to create the ability to think about how numbers work. As this gentlemen explains at the end of the video, if you're confused, it proves the point that we weren't taught flexibility to think about numbers.
Let me be clear, methodology is NOT Common Core. Common Core is merely standards and does not include the “how”. To blame standards for students failing or methodology as the evil indoctrinator would be highly inaccurate. If you converse with a teacher about politics and start attaching Common Core or methodology to indoctrination, you will end an opportunity. Teachers who wish to indoctrinate will be as capable of doing so with or without common standards. The greatest obstacle at present is curriculum that is attached to the standards of reading, writing, and math. This is the work of curriculum directors and school boards.
What do we do if teachers are teaching this kind of indoctrination? We pay attention! Listen to your child talk about what they’ve learned. For example, ask them to explain the discussion in Social Studies class. A word of warning, do not assume your child’s translation is exact or hasn’t been skewed in the retell. I’ve had parents contact the principal telling him I said something I absolutely did not say. So contact the teacher immediately if you get a translation that is concerning. In this case, do it via email so you have the response in writing. If there is concern that the teacher is not teaching the standards as they are written, go the next step and copy and paste the standard and send it to the teacher. Ask them to explain how it conforms to the standards being taught. If you do not get an acceptable response, go the next level up.
There are Far More Teachers Doing the Right Thing
Unfortunately, this leg work is falling on the parents. Fortunately, there are far more excellent teachers who are doing the right thing than those that aren't. If the teacher your child has is skewing the standards, request they change classrooms. If the school your child attends is supporting teachers who skew the standards for the sake of liberal ideology, change schools. I promise there are schools within this area that are doing the right thing. You also have the power to go to school board meetings and speak up. You can give your child facts that will empower them to speak up in class against such ideology. After all, you are the true driver of their patriotism.
Your Influence Has Power
I’m going to give some personal examples of how much your conversations with your child have so much weight and power. We are Catholic and our children not only attended church with us, but went through First Communion and Confirmation. Our daughter also enjoyed participating in the church youth group. She had a good understanding of creationism VS evolution. In science class, the teacher began teaching evolution. My daughter courageously raised her hand and asked why creationism wasn’t also taught as another possible theory. The teacher said there was no scientific evidence for creationism. My daughter had a simple but effective response. She replied, “There isn’t any for evolution either. There’s no missing link, for anything.” This flustered the teacher who should have responded that she understood creationism and that it was true there is no skeletal evidence of living things changing species. She should have then explained that she can only teach the theory behind evolution but understood creationism as another theory. Even better, she could have had students debate the theories with facts and information supporting their side of this historical science topic. What a powerful learning experience that could have been.
My second example is from my son. When Trump was being accosted by the media and lies were the only form of reporting, his sons were unclear what was true and false. He asked them first to do some research that went beyond mainstream media. Though I wasn’t there when they did the work, they did discover the media had been lying and that Biden himself was the purveyor of many lies. The power a parent has in helping their child be informed, capable decision makers who question what seems wrong is incredible.
What can we do?
Start by not using blanket statements encompassing all teachers or schools. When you speak about school indoctrination, make statements that blame school boards and superintendents for adopting the curriculum. If a school adopts a curriculum, go to the source, school boards. Speak about the abundance of teachers trapped in their chosen profession that’s been hijacked by liberals who are the perpetrators of indoctrination. Let teachers know that the republicans have their back and would like to restore the classroom to a place where they can teach content that’s appropriate and pro American.
If you’re retired, volunteer to come in and assist. You will be a great support to the teacher. You can also invite them to the republican party. If you have children in school, let the teachers know you understand the predicament of teachers having to teach things they do not approve of. Empathize with them. Gauge their response. Go slowly if necessary but provide them the soft landing in the GOP. They are lost and scared and looking for a place that will not villainize them. Be that place.
You are the Solution
Ultimately, the conservative party of the GOP is the answer to the morass of public schools. You are, literally, the solution. I have found my way to the GOP and find no conflict with my conservative views and educating my students. This can be true for the entire public school system. There is nothing stopping teachers from jumping ship from the democratic party that is not serving them or their profession. Although traditionally a democratic group, teachers are now seeing how the liberal party have become extremists. On the other hand, too many republicans have bashed teachers and schools leaving teachers feeling alienated and keeping them in the clutches of liberalism. We can peel back the talons. You are the answer. Start today by sharing this article with the next person who speaks with contempt about teachers and schools. We thank you.
Kathy Six - Teacher with a Master’s Degree in Gifted and Talented Students. Community involved at her lifelong residence of Fruitport, Michigan. Married to her husband Scott for 40 years and has two married children and four grandchildren. Kathy loves to hunt, fish, playing softball, and reads everything and anything she can get her hands on.