The school year is starting; It’s time for us teachers to inspire another class of high school students! So what is the inspiring message for this year’s students? Let’s survive the pandemic together with masks and social distancing! Now that it’s abundantly clear that racism exists, let me explain why we continue to protect and glorify racism in this country! Come and learn about how the political and financial systems in our country are failing in this important election year! And let’s not forget about Greta Thunberg and Emma González!
I can’t keep going to the well of empty optimism year after year. Kids are too smart and too tuned in to social issues. For this year to be a success, we need to bring them real optimism, and we need to look for change outside of mainstream politics and media. I am full of hope! I believe that if we work together we can build a beautiful future for generations to come, but when we politicize important issues we waste our resources fighting against each other instead of investing in our future.
It’s not as simple as in-person or virtual school, black lives or blue lives, the environment or the economy, and mental health or gun control. The only value in oversimplifying these issues is to divide us and prevent lasting progress. Real solutions bring people together and address the complex dynamics of these issues. Our communities can only grow stronger if we listen to different perspectives with compassion and make compromises and sacrifices for the greater good. Instead of glorifying aggressive behaviors that promote our opinions, we must protect those that disagree with us to restore our humanity.
Our children deserve to have hope in their lives. Hope will come when we use our resources to build each other up rather than tear each other down. As a teacher, I know my students will rise when I challenge them to face the uncertainty of this year together. Maybe it’s time for the rest of society to draw some inspiration from our classrooms.