Two Forbidden Subjects

I have two subjects I forbid myself to ever discuss with students.

Never politics. Never religion.

Why? Why don’t I discuss even when I know my students and I agree? Why don’t I express my opinion in the hope of convincing them?

Simple. My goals are elsewhere. With my students, I am focused on music-making and on developing their humanity.

I cannot possibly risk losing a musical or human connection with them for the sake of expressing my opinion. And if I want to retain my authority with my students, I cannot undermine it or abuse it by discussing these two particular areas of life.

Since I permit students to add me on Facebook, I also almost religiously avoid sharing about politics there (which is probably just as well).

Are politics and religion important? Yes. If we believe in our viewpoint, do we owe it to our beliefs to do our best to convince others? Of course.

But not in all situations. Other concerns are far more important when it comes to the teacher-student relationship.