Learners have to exercise real power or else it is just a sleight of hand. You know where I’m going with this. Imperatives for institutions trump personal agency under the rationale that the end justifies the means. And you know where that goes, too. The fact is that teaching is a shield upon which you often take a hit for your students and it is exactly analogous to being a good parent. You have empathic power, you know how brutal the blow can be. If all student agency is fake and dependent upon doing what they are told, then they are just sock puppets–an ultimate tragedy and waste of their humanity. Teaching is a complex even chaotic discipline. You cannot manage your students, you can only keep them as safe as you know how under the circumstances and under the hand of cards you are dealt. I try to do this. Sometimes I fail by stepping back and sometimes a succeed by stepping in. Whether I fail or succeed, I often don’t know why or worse I assume that I do, then discover that I didn’t. It is an unknown unknown that I keep seeking to reveal. I don’t have the answers, but I am right beside you in solidarity.