Entry 13 – A Teacher’s Reflection on Election Week

On a list of things I’m passionate about, politics doesn’t make the list.  I understand the need to be informed and this election cycle, I watched the debates, read up on sites like ISideWith.com, read a few articles from both sides of the aisle, and listened to a few podcasts.  Most of the time, I felt I understood why the author/writer was for their candidate or against the other.  I get why many people voted for Trump.  I get why many people voted for Hillary.  I also get why many people voted against Trump or against Hillary.  I didn’t vote for either and I’m content with my choice.

There have been a lot of discussions at my school around the results of the election.  Many were extremely upset by the results.  We (the teachers) were really the first people that many of the students encountered after hearing the news in the morning.  A high school student just came up for a hug when I got out of my car.

My first couple classes were my 6th grade classes.  A lot of them were obviously surprised Trump won but no one seemed noticeably upset.  A student asked if I was glad Trump won.  I said I wasn’t.  We went ahead and held class as normal.  We finished exploring exponents.  Near the end of class, a student said ‘oh man, I totally forgot about the whole Trump thing.’

I didn’t discuss it much throughout the day.  I didn’t feel the need to say anything.  I wasn’t happy, nor was I sad or angry. I just listened as people shared, both in person and in the endless stream online.  Many people from both sides of the aisle posting the need to end the divisiveness and hope for a successful presidency for Trump.  Many people from both sides also posting some pretty vile stuff about the supporters of their opposing candidate.  It was disconcerting to see people lumping all of Trump supporters into one category of racist/sexist/xenophobic/etc.  It was also disheartening to hear stories of people who have had American-born friends be told ‘go back to Mexico.’  I felt the most level-headed response to all this was a short letter written by Mike Rowe.

So where to go from here?  For me, I will continue to focus on the things in my life that I can control.  And let’s not forget the other big news of the week; the McRib is back, just in time to unite us all around it’s delicious processed goodness.

 

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