Reading Judy Blume in Flushing?
A colleague of mine recently mentioned that she once worked at a Persian school in Flushing, Queens. While I am not exactly sure of the time frame, I'm pretty sure it was some time in the last 25 years, which would be post-Iranian revolution. Her job was to teach the female students, or at least be their "teacher." She said that the headmasters made it clear that these girls were not to be intellectually stimulated in this school. So, similar to what we encounter in Azar Nafisi's memoir, she closed the door and taught them whatever she felt like (which in this case was something as mundane as a text by Judy Blume).
As English teachers, are we in some ways prevented from teaching what we really want to teach? Do you sometimes wish you could close your door and read texts not necessarily approved by the powers that be? To what extent does arbitrary bureaucracy influence your effectiveness as a teacher of English?