The days are fast tracking us towards the fall and bring with them many emotions which resonate throughout our classrooms. To prepare us, as a community, for the days and weeks ahead, we remind you to take care of yourself and each other.

Our partnership with families will strengthen during this time. Are you feeling a little nervous about how to have conversations with your learners? You’re not alone. Experienced educators sometimes experience anxiety when it comes to the political environment, too, so we’ve compiled some thoughts to support your conversations.

  1. Use what you know. Are you a sports family? Music? Bowling league? Use the context you feel most comfortable with to explain empathy, grief, and sportsmanship.
  2. Ask questions. What have you heard? What questions do you have? If you are worried that you can’t answer the questions that come up, it’s ok.  “I don’t know. Let’s find out together,” is a great start.
  3. Focus on the issues, not the people. Help learners see how issues impact our community.

 

Take care of yourself, your learner, and each other.  For the overall health of our community, we’ve compiled a few strategies to support wellness and support.

  1. Engage in healthy activities. Go for a walk, read a book of poetry, paint, listen to music and dance like no one’s watching.
  2. Practice reflection. Journaling, meditation, even long conversations provide the space to think deeply about reaction, history, and connection to individual values statements.
  3. Be aware of your media intake. Adjust your limits as needed.
  4. Utilize local supports and resources. Make a strategic attempt to avoid isolation.

 

Our staff have a number of resources to pull from as they support students through their big feelings and engage in caring discussions. Our curricular resources include Caring School CommunityRULER, and Character Strong.  Specifically, over the next few days, we will be

  1. Nourishing our students with common ground rules: take care of yourself, take care of others, and take care of the environment.
  2. Engaging students in reflective activities.
  3. Encouraging critical thinking with inquiry, evidence, and research.

 

We believe in The Bellingham Promise and will ensure our classrooms remain accessible and supportive learning environments for all students.

 

References:

Talking to Kids about the Election

Anti-Defamation League: Let’s Talk About Politics

Boston University: Self-care Tips