I woke up this morning and the world is now different. Sure something shifts every day, but today marks the advent of something that will inevitably go down as a historic time in our nation’s history. The results are in and now we all need to go back to our pre-2016 presidential election lives. By the way, I read somewhere that this election officially started about 600 days ago, so many of us have spent the better part of two years focused on this one evening. Because of this, there is bound to be some withdrawal.
But after the withdrawal subsides, please realize that we have a job to do and our students need us now, more than ever. Our country needs us more than ever. Our world needs us more than ever. I don’t know that anyone is going to be knocking down our doors alerting us of how important the job is that we now have to do, but in these times we need to compassionately remind each other. And by the way we’ve been doing our job, but somehow (if it’s even possible) our jobs just got a lot more important.
Our students need us to create safe classrooms environments for them so that they have the ability to learn. Our students need us to model effective communication with our fellow teachers and with them. Our students need to see examples of adults who are successful critical thinkers and problems solvers, those who pursue happiness while achieving balance and win or lose with grace, are internally motivated and have the ability to let go of ego and hubris while modeling self-care and the importance of kindness and empathy.
Now many of us have already been doing many of the things listed above, but today (and in the coming weeks and months) we need to make sure we are doing all of those things deliberately, not just because some of those qualities are part of our character, some of the time.
We need to explicitly point out these lessons. We need to teach them tools. We need to be mindful, alert, present to their needs so that they can pass this on to the people who they encounter in the world. We must instill in our students that they have more collective impact on the future of our world than one person running the nation. That if they do good in their little part of world, then the good will come back to them. And although these little acts don’t seem like they will change the world, they can, they will and they do. Sometimes grand gestures are needed, but right now, if nothing more, make your little piece of the world a little brighter by impacting the students you work with everyday purposefully and wholeheartedly. By you exemplifying unconditional care, you will be their guide of what is possible in this world. You will give them hope, even if they don’t know that’s what they need.
So as you enter schools across the nation, it seems that the job we do just became more important than ever. In a country that feels so divided, that is so divided, we have been called to action to teach our nation’s future the importance of coming together for the sake of something greater than ourselves.