Berkeley High Vice Principal and PADC member Shannon Fierro put together some helpful thoughts and resources for educators. While some of the content is specifically about inauguration, most of it is about how to continue having important conversations about equity.
While it may be difficult for many teachers to dedicate an entire class period to discussing the inauguration, we want to offer some ideas that may help you choose the path that is right for you and your students.
Our first piece of advice is to simply be responsive to where your students are, and the energy in the room. You could start by a simple check in or writing prompt, “how are you doing today?” Being honest about how you are doing, and giving a little time to check in will send a message to students that you are making space for their full selves. Please be aware that you may have students in your class who feel particularly targeted by the incoming administration and may be experiencing an even deeper level of stress and anxiety. If you a perceive a student to be struggling, we encourage you to make a decision that accesses your relationship with that young person. If you feel comfortable, have a word with them in the hallway. You could also ask them if they need a break from class, and use one of your 2 break passes that were provided to us this week. Please also be aware that you may have students who will feel fine, and may be happy about the outcome of the election. There have been some conflicts since Nov. 8th, and we want to be sure to remind our students of our expectation that they be civil to each other.
If you do choose to dedicate significant class time to the inauguration, there are an infinite number of directions you could go in. We are including resources below. We encourage you to share other ideas and resources that you may have as well. Please remember to take care of yourselves and remember that ours is a collective journey.
Berkeley High School