Teachers are humans and subject to all of the same biases and flaws as anyone else. Most of them will be professionals, but even kids pick up on body language and tone.
As teachers, we are bound by the 1996 Education Act to present different political beliefs impartially and to not promote partisan political views. Yet, probably unintentionally, my school is often an echo-chamber for the leftwing views of its staff and its students’ parents.
Views that fall outside the accepted liberal-left spectrum get short shrift in my staffroom. I have watched teachers react incredulously – almost to the point of tears – when colleagues have tried floating a reasonable case for Brexit. This would be harmless enough if it did not put in doubt their ability empathise with views opposed to their own.
Unfortunately, I see that lack of empathy in the classroom. It worries me that few of my colleagues seem to understand why Conservatives think as they do. In lessons discussing the general election, I have seen teachers make half-hearted attempts to present a rightwing line of reasoning about the major issues. Their bored or frustrated tone of voice says it all.
In theory students are introduced to a range of ideologies through studying government and politics. But I have only heard Labour politicians being criticised by fellow teachers for being too rightwing. We have had assemblies celebrating feminists and the campaign for a living wage, which are excellent and informative, but with no attention given to right-of-centre subjects (none that weren’t heavily critical, anyway).