This is not the job you signed up to do. You signed up as an educator to fill their hearts and minds with knowledge. Your goal when you started was probably very noble, you would reach someone the way they reached you (or didn’t).
Teaching often takes a soft heart and tough mind to persevere. Teaching is both a profession and a calling. I want you to know that I see you. We all see you and thank you for your service. Your work this past week and for the next several months is so crucial to our society.
For many of us, we were born after the civil rights movement and have never experienced the type of discourse, fear, and heartache that has permeated our country and has funneled down into our classrooms. I have found myself many times this week talking with people on both sides of the aisle with tears in everyone’s eyes. I have repeatedly ask myself, “how did it come to this?”
You guys are on the front lines of healing and unity and I applaud you. I would send you all chocolate bars and bottles of wine if I could.
Way More than Winners and Losers
It doesn’t matter how you voted because we are all responsible for this election and the general feelings of uneasiness. I would urge you not to share how you voted because we need you to be safe for all the kids. We all were so worried about convincing the other side we were right that we never stopped to listen to people’s pains: their worries, fears, and sadness. Those pains are still there. It is time to listen. Everyone just needs to listen. I know you guys in the classroom are hearing. Share with us.
I am sorry you are the appointed clean up crew for the ongoing disaster of this election cycle. What I want you to know is that your job is so much more important and far-reaching than the kids’ test scores.
Some of you teach kids in rural areas with few jobs or prospects and their families feel cheated of the American dream. I stand with you in a message of hope. Give them hope, without the hate. If your kids are members of groups that feel exposed based on their differences, I stand with you in a message of hope. Hope without hate.
Start to Rebuild
We are not a nation defined by a president, but a nation defined by its people. This is true whether the White House is housing a candidate that has blue or red leanings. Change starts in our communities with the individual. Often times through the inspiration of a teacher.
Educators, you are the backbone of our society and I applaud you. I applaud those of you that feel betrayed by the system but give your hearts to an often thankless job. I applaud those of you that came to teaching to be a servant and with a servant’s heart. Use that for hope and good.
Hope and Love
We can fill these children with hope and if you fill a glass with clean water long enough it will wash the dirty water out. Let’s fill them up. That starts with making sure you are filling up with hope first. Find the marigolds in your school and online. Find the people who are talking about solutions and not party lines. Search for the people who are not pointing out differences, but are searching for similarities. Look for hope.
To all the teachers that got up worried about what would happen at school on Wednesday. I applaud you for going. I applaud you for keeping it going.
From my discussions with people, many of us are concerned (regardless of party lines). I don’t know all the answers and I have many worries, fears, and much sadness. Kids are picking up on that and they are anxious and don’t know where to find stability. I know they are looking to you and pray that what you are able to do is provide them with love and hope.
Regardless of religion, race, nationality, gender, sexuality or any other way we can categorize a human being the most important one is that we are humans. Let’s fill each other with hope.
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