The longer I teach, I began in 1999, the more I become a student advocate, the more I see my role in the school and classroom as vertically integrated with role my students perform. The more I see our role in direct opposition, in a healthy and productive manner rather than destructive, to the administration and state. Being a student advocate permits me to be an advocate for teachers.
This manner of approaching pedagogy and labor permits me to extend my beliefs about open and democratic discourse based in original social difference from the classroom to the school to the community to the state. It transforms the site for learning into a site for radical social work. It resists compartmentalizing experience in the way capitalism encourages us to do. And it does so in a manner that is much more inclusive than any contemporary debates about speech in the classroom permit.
The students need not be aware of this for it to work.
This is a fact and it's what irritates conservative theorists and politicians about the nature of the classroom. By definition, it's a radically transformative space. Without regulation of discourse, there's no telling what might happen.
My vocation is a consistent "Fuck you!" to the white power structure in the United States, and in Korea for that matter. And it's a reminder to Conservative Culture that it will lose every time.