In this letter Freire speaks of the relationship that involves the questions of teaching, and of learning. Freire explains that children are extremely sensitive to teachers who do opposite of what they say. Freire explains that a teacher who shows doubt or weakness in the classroom will severely hurt their ability to control the classroom and to teach. Freire believes that teachers have much to teach to students regardless of what social class they come from in society. They have much to teach through example of fighting for the fundamental changes that are necessary in society. Freire states that teachers are not perfect saints, but that they are humans with virtues and faults. Freire believes that the relationship between educators and learners is complex, fundamental, and difficult.
“I consider the testimony to be a coherent and permanent discourse of the progressive educator.” (p97)
“Without the democratic intervention of the educator, there is no progressive education.” (p102)
“Once educators begin the testimonial process, little by little learners begin doing it as well.” (p105)
“I do not think that educators need to be perfect saints.” (p105)
“It is necessary to unmask the ideology of a certain neoliberal discourse…” (p104)
“Teachers are extremely sensitive to teachers who do the exact opposite of what they say.” (p98)
I agree with Freire’s insistence that students are sensitive to teachers who say one thing and do another. If a teacher says to do something and I see him/her doing the exact opposite, it makes me question the validity of the request. I have personally seen teachers, who are very weak in the classroom, get taken advantage of by the students. This weakness not only hurts the teacher emotionally but it also hurts the learning of the other students because of this massive distraction in the harassment.