Although the COVID-19 Crisis has impacted me in so many negative ways as a teacher, I have made the decision to keep my head high and look towards the future. I, just like so many of my colleagues, miss the deep discussions that took place in the classroom, the collaboration of minds, the challenging of ideas, and the support and love for others. Operating online and via paper packets has made everything I love about my job much more limited, but I know it will all come back soon. In the meantime, my role has transitioned to becoming more of a supporter. Every household is handling this situation differently, and because of that I have to be considerate of the circumstances my teenage students have been given.
For now, I am providing lessons on the Civil Rights Movement. I am focusing on the principles of non-violence and how they were adopted through philosophies of peace and togetherness. I have been demonstrating to my students how only through strong philosophies like those of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many other supporters of the movement were people able to hold on to hope during some of the most trying times of American history.
I have also been spending some down time finding ways to incorporate Teaching About the Wars lessons into my classes next year. I was caught by surprise this year when students had little to no knowledge of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the conflict that followed. When I told the 16-year-olds in my class that the United States had been engaged in conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq their entire lives, they didn’t believe me! I have been looking through the resource from Rethinking Schools and look forward to discussing American policy, modern imperialism, and economic factors of war next year. This topic is so relevant and our young adults need to be aware of the situation.