The thing about teaching is that you have this wonderful relationship with someone else’s children. Their guardians trust that you will give them what they need to become citizens of this nation. You take them as children. You watch them take risks and speak in front of a room with a shaky voice. You listen to them begin to form the ideas that have built civilizations. You enjoy their questions and respect their views. Sometimes you sit in lockdowns with them and contemplate how you will make your body big enough to cover all of them if need be. You give thanks every day for the work.
The best thing about teaching is you go to a job where you believe in your bones you are making the nation. No matter how much paperwork it takes, no matter how little respect you feel from time to time, you have this one mission — to make this nation everything our founders believed it could be.
On Tuesday, I saw that nation emerge anew as I watched City High students I taught march to the Old Capitol and use their First Amendment rights to demand changes to laws that threaten their safety every day. They were peaceful. They were passionate. They were everything I ever thought they would be and more. I continue to be proud to know each and every one of them and stand small in the long shadow of democracy they cast. Get behind them. They are the future we made.