Teaching Current Events
A lot is going on in the world and we have the responsibility to hold, acknowledge, and spark intergroup dialogue about social issues and other world happenings within the classroom. Here's a quick resource of a framework adopted from The Institute for Anti-Racist Education that can support these dialogues:
Address the events without teaching about them. Remember that while you certainly must address these events, you do not need to teach about events that you are still processing or are unfamiliar with. Push back against the notion that you are the sole source of information in the classroom and that you must have all the answers. Focus on creating a forum for voice and connection.
Focus on equipping your students with the tools to process and care for themselves. It is essential to provide students with tools to help them to process. For example, create an opportunity for students to reflect and express their feelings and how they are present in their bodies. Offer a few grounding techniques and resources for self-healing. An example, here is a link for Racism Recovery: Building Your Own Racial Trauma Toolkit: a virtual workshop provided by the authors of Racial Trauma is Real.
Be sure to focus on the roots of events to avoid problematic comparisons. There are other moments of White Supremacy and rage on full display in North American history.
Complete the narrative. Taking an honest, complicated approach to history is a suitable place to start. Help students understand how to hold the fact that this both is real and isn't a free America for all people. This isn’t everyone’s America. This requires an acknowledgment of historical harms on marginalized communities.
Need more support? Reach out to the JEDI Office. The (un)learning process is not an easy one to begin and you do not have to do it alone. Neither is holding processing and reflective spaces, but it is all of our responsibilities to do so, regardless of your job description and social position. We are interconnected.
The JEDI Office is here to provide individual and community-wide support. Learn more about us. Be well.