Philly education contains many levels. With such a diversity of peoples, Philadelphia classrooms become a microcosm of the larger U.S. When our classrooms start feeling like the “real world,” we must find a way to help our students process the tensions they feel. One ARG teacher did just that in her Center City charter school classroom.
Two students came into my room in tears. It spread through our class like wildfire. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Donald Trump” they responded. The world had entered our classroom. The alarm and distress my 2nd graders - mostly black, some immigrants, many Muslim - felt was palpable. It had been building in the months leading up to the election and, on this November 9th, it had come to a head.
I aspire to make our classroom an inviting, warm and safe space despite the stressors my students are or are not facing outside of school. So, I opened up space for us to discuss their fears. Surprisingly, my students had a lot to say about keeping hope alive in turbulent times.
So, I turn this blog over to them. I asked: How do you stay hopeful? How can others stay hopeful? They came up with some great advice! Here are their responses:
Aly Boyd is a 2nd grade teacher a Center City charter school in Philadelphia. One of the things she loves about teaching is how her class feels like family.