A How to Guide to Navigating Your Child's Teacher in a Critical Theory/Anti-Racism World.

What follows is some advice, tips, and strategies to work with your child's teacher. This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully a start to a problem-solving dialogue.
For starters, let me emphasize that most teachers are not fully engrossed in Critical Theory. Some know it, but most just regurgitate what they have been taught in their College of Ed. (we can come back to the COE later). Most teachers care deeply about their students.
A lot of teachers, by their very nature, tend to operate out of what @JonHaidt identifies as the "Care/Harm" and "Fairness/Cheating" Moral Foundations. Unfortunately, Critical Theory manipulates these foundations in the form of "Charity." This is crucial to how you approach them.
Strategies for a Successful Teacher Interaction:
1. Start by becoming as familiar as you can with Critical Theory keywords. If you lack the time to read CT, at least use the vocab. as an alert system. Print off the list of "Wokish" words and have handy.
2. Try to get to know as much about your child's teacher as possible. Think of it as an advanced scouting report. Don't be creepy, but gather enough information to identify how engaged they are with Critical Theory and activism. Also pay attention to their class newsletters.
3. Pay attention to the assignments being given; both in class and for homework. In e-learning world, it's easier than in the past. If a teacher balks about you being in the background during class, politely say its about being able to know how to assist your child after class.
4. Understand a couple important things; first, as I have been revealing, many school districts are, or have been, implementing Anti-Racism into the school curriculum. This is not something to battle with the teacher over as they have no control on this.
Second, as many districts implement Anti-Racism curriculum, teachers are spending many hours in Professional Development on how to incorporate into their classes. And if they don't know CT, they think this is just to help reduce Harm and Unfairness.
Third point here, we are now seeing School Districts tying into teacher evaluations Anti-Racism instruction. This actually forces teachers to have to teach this material or get a poor evaluation rating.
5. When concerns arise over what is being taught, take a deep breath, and think through what your objective is going to be. Have a very clear goal in mind. Just complaining about Critical Theory in the classroom gets you nowhere. The teacher will just tune you out.
6. Choose how you are going to contact the teacher. For this part, let's go with an email. Construct the email using what I call the Positive-Negative-Positive (P-N-P) method. Find things that you can sandwich your focused concern inside of that leaves the teacher less anxious.
7. Once you have the email ready, think through when to contact that teacher. If you send it first thing in the morning or late at night, it will most likely put that teacher on edge for the start of the day. This creates a tense classroom, which just makes them more anxious.
Instead, think about sending the email right after school. This gives the teacher time to digest the concerns and think through a response. This also helps you because they will have several hours before bed to vent (which they do b/c they are human) and process how to handle it.
8. Keep this between you and the teacher for now. Warning: If you get heated and start making all kinds of posts on social media BEFORE trying to resolve this, the teacher and admin will go into defensive mode and shut you out. This will create an "Us vs Them" atmosphere.
9. If you find that you are not getting anywhere with the teacher, CC or BCC the Admin. Start to include them in the emails. Especially if you are not getting a response. Start to work your way up the chain of command, but do it by emailing the teacher and having them included.
10. The problem with emails, as we all know, is a lack of body language. So work to set up a meeting with the teacher, administrator, and possibly another party that you trust to be neutral.
I highly suggest no 1-on-1 with the teacher (regarding major concerns) because you enter into a "he said, she said" scenario and the admin will back the teacher first.
11. During the meeting, know that teachers love to use Educational jargon (and now Critical Theory) to gain the upper hand in the conversation. Critical Theory plays on the meaning of words to gain power in the narrative. Know your CT word list so you can catch them.
And when the teacher starts throwing Ed jargon at you, ask for clarification. Don't let them railroad you with big words or acronyms. Make them define and put into context why they are using them. If they are playing a game of power with you, this will stop them.
12. Once the concerns have been addressed, make sure to check for understanding. Leave the meeting with all parties feeling like everyone is moving in the right direction: that the child and their education is the most important thing.
13. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up. Check in with your child's teacher. THE same P-N-P rule applies. Be genuine about it too, teachers can catch flattery from a mile away. Remember, they are human too.
14. Finally, pick your battles and know who needs to be "fought." Many of the current issues stem from the Administration (top-down), and many teachers are unfortunately along for the ride. Yes, there will be those ideologues, and they are the ones you will battle with.
Start to gather a coalition of like-minded parents who you can team up with over concerns. Again, pick an objective to tackle. Too many "fires in the kitchen" will be hard to win on. Knock them down one at a time. And stay persistent. Public school teachers work for us.
In Closing:


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