I starting talking about teachers writing their own textbooks about 7 years ago, in 2006. I’d been thinking about it before that, but there was no practical way to make it happen. In the years since, I’ve been successfully helping other teachers and departments down the road of creating and maintaining their own textbooks. It’s great.

The question that keeps getting thrown at me most consistently on this subject is “Who vets this material?”

I’ve gotten angrier with this question over time, which isn’t like me. Usually I calm down and become more reflective, but in this case the opposite has happened. I’ve gotten progressively more and more irate with this response from professional educators. This is, I think, because the answer is so stunningly obvious.

Who vets this material?

You do.

You, the educated professional educator. You, the expert at what you do. You, the person who will deliver the material and work with the end product.

Anything else is to abdicate you responsibility as an educator. Banking on some large conglomerate publishing house to get the content, context, and whatever else right (and without error or bias) is to give over your students’ education to that publishing company. It is the easy way out. It is cowardly.