During this time of political unrest, it has taken a toll on the climate of our public schools. Lines have been drawn, comments about our beliefs have been made (both privately and around the break tables,) feelings have been hurt, our faith-beliefs are being tested. When we believe something so strongly in our souls, and it is fueled by everything that is going on around us--our personal stories, news (fake news?) and social media, we are faced with a choice. How will my beliefs affect the relationships I have with others? If you are a public school teacher--I feel there is only one answer. It won't. I must be able to maintain professionalism at all times in the name of the implied vow I took when I entered this profession. Kids first.
The tools we have at our disposal are no different today than they were before the most recent election. Kids have not changed. Best practices in classroom management, differentiation, teaching strategies have not changed. The only variable that may have changed recently is our perception of our colleagues. But what part of that has changed? Does the fact that they voted for Trump or Clinton change their ability to be an amazing teacher, friend, or confidant? Only if we allow it to.
These are tough times. I have fallen out of relationship with a few people based on my own beliefs and values...and it saddens me. It saddens me because I am not accustom to losing a friendship or letting anything get in the way of my being an effective teacher of children. At the very least we must summon our souls to set our differences aside and put kids first.
Won't you join me?