Just want to say: it’s a 10x hard day to be a teacher. To process Ferguson with kids requires an equanimity many of us probably don’t feel. I thought I’d just offer a few insights from a very wise friend of mine who is a school leader on how she’s approaching the next day or two.
I’m leaving her anonymous because, while she is wise and deserves credit for her insight, there is, I think, no right answer and surely a lot of anger that I don’t want to be directed at a strong educator trying to help her kids make sense of things.
Of course you might disagree. Surely many of you do. Surely there are flaws in anyone’s response but if nothing else we deserve to hear how other people are approaching the situation, if only for the purposes of reflection.
First she notes the difficulty of the situation:
We’re really not afforded the opportunity to get super angry, and we have to be pragmatic by 7:00 am when confused students walk in.
And she makes two points about the importance of not lapsing into despair (i.e. hopelessness) in front of our children, even if we are struggling with it inwardly.
- I want our students to learn about hope in the midst of adversity. It’s called “Good Grief.” The type of grieving that maintains hope.
- I [am going to ask] my teachers to discuss what control we do have, not the lack thereof.
Anyway, I find that all a tiny bit useful. I hope you do as well. If it’s insufficient (of course it is) I apologize.
Godspeed to everyone on a challenging day.