Hate is back in our schools. I’ve heard teachers talk about kids forming groups they call ‘Whites are Rising’. I’ve heard middle school students in my own school talk about how Trump is going to put the Muslims back in their place.
I’m in a unique position to affect how change occurs. As a gifted and talented teacher, I work with students who are designed to dig deeper and live with the kind of emotional intensity it may take for us to bring back the world we want to live in. I don’t think this is an exaggeration.
So, I worked all weekend to put together lesson plans around what human migration looks like, how it feels to be a refugee, and what we can do to help human beings. It took focus to figure out how to help children in my district, most of whose parents voted for Trump, will absorb this information without feeling scared or thinking I’m trying to scare them.
It’s a precarious balance being a teacher of social justice, particularly in a school system. I used to say it was harder because I taught in a public school, but now I see that it’s more about teaching children whose families are taking a long time to see that this change is happening.
Here are some resources I’m planning to use that may help you plan your own lessons.
Finally, as a way to help myself think about human migration, I’ve chosen this book as my next read. If you know of any books written for children that might help my lessons, please share them in the comments.