Few things have frightened and angered me as much as the idea of a Donald Trump presidency. Few things have made me more aware of how lucky I am to teach where I teach. I am again reminded of how much our country needs good teachers and supportive schools.
Before you read on, watch this video from my school, Goudy Elementary. It’s a few years old, but is still one of my favorites.
Goudy, and many nearby schools are special in that they are so diverse, there is not a discernable majority population. More than 29 languages are spoken at Goudy. It’s the same in the neighborhood school my daughter attends. This means that if students are going to have any friends, they have to get along with people who are different from them. In this way, I’m oddly sheltered. I live in a bubble where people tolerate each other’s differences and diversity is normal.
My students are incredible people. I teach them math. I also teach them to be kind, honest, and respectful. They know that in our school, even though they are moody middle school students, they are safe, accepted, and loved. My students are creative, funny, smart, and driven to be successful. They are also lower-income, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. They are people who have been criminalized by Donald Trump and his supporters. Outside of our safe school bubble, they are being bullied by their fellow Americans who have been emboldened by racist rhetoric. I am still in shock that so many people voted for this man to be president. I am afraid for my students, but I am more committed to making sure they are successful. Sorry, kids, this does mean you’ll have to work even harder.