Here we are…. the eve of the 2016 election…. One of the most highly anticipated elections in history! One with more heat, debate, disagreements, hatred, and controversy than most would like to discuss. Others however, LOVE the adrenaline of the “fight”.
I have a very strict NO POLITICS rule in my classroom. I have had this all year. Students know that in my class we never say the “T” word or the “H” word. Under ANY circumstances.
Over the course of the last year, I have seen friends and family voice their incredibly strong opinions on the candidate they are choosing to support. They voice these opinions ALL over social media. Each of these individuals areÂ exercisingÂ their right to freedom of speech and are eager to promote their candidate and those policies they stand behind. Students, particiularly those in Lower and Middle School, LOVE the debate and controversy that these elections create. Everything they discuss at school is based off of what they hear at home. They are not old enough to begin to do their own research, nor would they necessarily know how to research if they wanted to. Their opinions are bias and are VERY strong. The discussions I have heard stem up in the hallways or at lunch create giant knots in my stomach. I hear the fierceness in their voices and see the hatred they have for each others “candidates”. It makes me nervous, anxious, and honestly breaks my heart. I do not want to see the students I love so much, destroy friendships as I have seen so many of my own friends do this year. 20 years of friendship and memories, in a few short months, thrown away.
My classroom isÂ OURÂ sanctuary. My classroom is OUR safe place. My classroom is our COMMUNITY. My classroom is our HOME. My classroom is a place where my students can come learn, speak, be silly, and beÂ THEMSELVESÂ without fear of judgement. This was not an easy thing to create. We had to work hard together to make our space safe and to create this community. The second politics of any kind enter in my classroom, it jeopordizes that environment.
While many CI teachers my capitalize on this year and these candidates for characters for stories, or questions for PQA, it is something I simply refuse to do. That includes tomorrow. Â I want my students to love and respect each other and I don’t want to risk damaging the respect they have for each other in my room. We will not discuss the election, we will not make predictions, we will not make silly stories using actors of “T” or “H”, instead we will stay in our own little, safe and happy Spanish world… Call me loca…. that’s my name after all 😉
Happy Election Day Eve. Remember, REGARDLESS of the results, we need to learn to live with each other, our differences, and LOVE each other despite those differences. We have a challenging road ahead as a Nation. It is essential that we as adults set good examples for our children. Choose to model love, not hate. Choose positivity and hope over negativity and despair.
Until next time,
La Maestra Loca