S2: E9: The "Savior Complex" and Teachers

In today's discussion, Michael and I sit down to discuss the "savior complex" and how it negatively impacts educators. The "savior complex" refers to those who believe their goal in life is to "save others" and paint themselves as a near god-like figure. We iterated on it in the podcast, but we want to make sure to emphasize that we're not stating that teachers aren't important, or that they don't deserve more respect - however, we need to draw a distinctive line somewhere.

Throughout the discussion, Michael and I routinely bring up critical pedagogy as described by Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the OppressedIn this (admittedly tough) read, Freire describes how the relationships between teacher and student are flawed in traditional society. Coining the "banking model" - Freire states that students are seen as vaults ready to be filled with knowledge, rather than human beings with an array of experiences and knowledge already. This notion reinforces the issue with the "savior complex" - by teachers emphasizing their role as heroes, they may undervalue the students who should be at the center of the classroom.

We also referenced What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali many times.