This post originally appeared on the blog Wise Guys: Creativity for the Modern Classroom.
The Presidential election is over. Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Donald Trump secured enough electoral votes to become the next President of the United States of America.
The nation has been literally divided over their support of these two candidates. It has been a difficult political season. Both sides have displayed hatred towards each other. How can we heal as a nation, and how can we teach our children about unity and working together after such a divisive election? We will attempt to answer these questions and provide some ideas that you can use in your classroom to help all students move towards a common ground.
In times of hurt, we have to look at what helps us to heal. In this case, the hurt has come from what we have seen in social media, television, and radio. That has influenced the way people have treated each other to a great extent. We have to reassure our students that we must join together and move on. The healing takes place when there is acceptance. I know that will be hard for many, but with every transfer of power to the next president it has always happened. We have to know that the president is just one person. We still will uphold the Constitution of the United States of America which includes many amendments that protect the freedoms of the people. There may be tears shed, anger felt, and disappointment rampant among some students, but let them know that their feelings are warranted. We must now focus on the future of America and work together to make it better.
A core value of all schools is to be respectful toward others. Regardless of skin color, disability, gender, or any other factor out of the control of a child, we must celebrate diversity, and not squash it. We must learn to value our individual differences and stand up for everyone. This starts at school. Being respectful of people because of their differences is how the founding fathers wanted it. Many groups came to America for religious and political freedom and were granted that in this great nation. If we are to move forward as a nation, we have to respect everyone’s differences, including their political views, and work together to move in a positive direction. Without respect, this cannot happen.
Love is stronger than hate. We must always remember that, and model that for our students. We have created an activity that is designed to make a positive difference in the lives of the students at your school. Students are asked to perform acts of kindness towards others. The goal would be for your students to show empathy, compassion, and caring for others. We want to have a kind and caring school where every child feels safe and belongs. You can find this activity by clicking here.
As the famous activist Gandhi stated, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Now, more than ever we have to instill this in the future minds of our great country. They DO have a voice, and it does have value.
Let us unite and move forward in a positive direction. Our great nation depends on this.
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The Wise Guys have been teaching for over 30 years at the intermediate grade level (4-6). They pride themselves on creating lessons that are engaging, meaningful, and aligned with the Common Core Standards. They love teaching, and love sharing their resources with other teachers. They’re constantly sharing their 30 years of wisdom and favorite education finds on their Facebook page, blog, and Pinterest boards.