An article in last month’s NY Times, “Teaching Seventh Graders in a ‘Total Mess’ of an Election Season,” is still relevant even as the election season officially ends today. In fact, one of the benefits of this challenging election cycle can be the examples it provides about the harmful effect of words and attitudes to our environment.
While the disturbing, even dangerous tenor set by a presidential candidate is beyond the control of the classroom teacher, teaching the importance of dignity and respect in an election and in the classroom is very much a teacher’s responsibility. The tone maintained in the classroom, strongly influenced by teachers’ respect for students — even for the most difficult students — and the resources s/he chooses, sets a powerful example. In fact, a setting infused with respect can help to diffuse disruptive attitudes and behaviors.
So, yes, it’s important to teach about this election cycle even as it becomes history, using appropriate examples that encourage thoughtful conversation about (more…)
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