Letter to a Young Teacher

A beloved teacher’s final advice is a clarion call for public education — and for civilization itself.

The Letter

I’ve become very interested in the new environmental movements sweeping the world. […] I’ve decided I have to do my part and I’ve been exploring several avenues for activism. There’s a lot that needs doing and there isn’t a great deal of time to get it done.

Our whole idea of “success” and what “prosperity” means is going to change.

So, you’ve decided to give teaching a try. Good for you! I loved being a teacher. I think I was born to be a teacher and I never regretted for a moment the choice I made.

It’s imperative that education step in and create some breathing room so that reason and deliberation have at least a fighting chance.

When I was in high school, I feared the outbreak of nuclear war. We used to do these drills where we would practice how we were to behave in emergencies. Crazy stuff designed to scare little kids to death. Too much reality for today’s pampered tots. We were afraid of some exterior danger.

It’s going to be so much fun. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love.

But you and others like you, smart, well-informed young people will be able to do it.

Eric is a student and a teacher. A descendant of settlers, he calls Toronto home. He writes about education, art, nature, death, and birds.

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