In light of the election Tuesday night, I wanted to share what we discussed in the classroom yesterday morning so that you can continue the conversation at home if needed.
Many students walked into my classroom distraught, disappointed, afraid, and angry.
It helped that we had been learning about different governments and the US government in particular. After I gave students a space to share their feelings, we reviewed the structure of our government (checks and balances).
I reminded students that the president may have power in our country, but the president does not have the power to control our hearts. Although there may be hateful words we've heard during this election season that affect our family and friends, we can control the way we respond. Instead of continuing the cycle of hate with our own hateful words, we can respond be serving the needs of people in our classroom and in our community. We can respond be being open-minded and caring towards people who may seem different from us. We can respond by listening to each other's concerns and finding ways to tangibly support one another.
I told them that if Mr. Donald were to walk through our classroom door, I'd look him in the eye, give him a nice firm handshake, and welcome him to our classroom. The students were appalled at first, but agreed that we should still respect him even if we don't love him because he's the leader our nation has appointed. We cannot erase that.
I asked what we could do right now, and many students said we could "watch out for each other" and stop taking from Mr. Donald's "bucket" (if you don't know what a bucket is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5R6-2m_qHk). And that's exactly what they did yesterday. All talk of the election vanished, and learning continued. In our reflection at the end of the day, many students shared they felt better.
Hopefully you can use this conversation as a springboard to speak with your student about recent events. I reminded them that they are LOVED by you and me.
Another parent in our classroom sent me this resource last night, so perhaps you'll find it helpful: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-should-we-tell-the-children_us_5822aa90e4b0334571e0a30b
I hope you are all doing well in this season!