We employ some of the most recognizable ideas from the existentialism of Sartre and Kierkegaard
as a way to understand the current “teacher (human) condition.” In so doing we examine
key existentialist concepts—fear and anxiety, freedom and subjectivity, being-in-situation—and
use them to analyze the contemporary conditions of education in the U.S.18 At the end of the essay,
we point toward how teachers might begin to cope with the existential threats to their profession
and to their selves with existential responses that involve creativity and living artistically.
In short, we suggest a means by which educators might move out of the cellar.