Walking into my classroom after this election reminded me of the way I felt heading into the classroom on 9/12/01, on the day after Columbine, on the day after the Red Lake shootings. Emotions would be high. I was heading into a classroom of adults this time though. For some, this was the first presidential election they’ve participated in. Some were happy with the results, but most were sad and angry. And for my students of color, some were scared. I struggled with knowing how to support and yet not alienate students. But despite this struggle, one message needs to be clear: teachers are to be advocates for our students – all of our students. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, these have no place in classrooms and schools. Teachers are in the unique position to make a real difference through their work. To make this a more just, equitable, kind, tolerant society, we must show our students justice, equity, kindness, and tolerance. We must teach them what these values look like, and what they can do to live just, equitable, compassionate lives and fight for justice and equity for others.
When I feel overwhelmed by this charge, I turn to resources that I trust for help. If you need help sorting through the election results and how to support your students, you can find helpful resources a number of places.
First, check out the compiled list of resources on this document, compiled by Border Crossers. Or this one from Cult of Pedagogy.
On Teaching Tolerance, check out:
- What to say to students
- Reflections from a ninth grade and high school teacher
- Classroom resources forteaching identity, justice, diversity, and action
The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have published some suggestions too.
Take care of yourself, too, as you care for the next generation. It is a huge task, but one worth fighting for.