I am not at liberty to speak my mind unless I am the only audience, which is most of the time. The status of “teacher” sets a standard, as it should be, and as long as any of my words are heard by another, the brake is on. There’s no off-duty when it comes to living up to a persona.
I struggle with free-speech as if free-speech is my shadow and my words are my identity, my reputation. Every so often a teacher will get caught doing the unthinkable. I take it personally when someone betrays the trust of a student. In these cases, it’s a no brainer; I am talking about my not being able to speak my mind. I’m not supposed to tell the kids who I am voting for.
For me, I really have to worry about speaking my mind. Getting fired less than nine hours after posting a Facebook comment about my school using teacher’s illegally proclaimed that I have no freedom of speech.
As I filter my story ideas, I think about how I ought to be able to talk about my past. But I don’t. It’s like someone is whispering in my ear that certain topics are off the table. But It’s my past. How can someone judge me on what I did in my twenties? I have these arguments often and the winning side concludes that when I am fully retired, the gloves can come off. That cliche doesn’t quite work, but that’s the best I have at the moment.