We invited Chris Dier, social studies teacher and the 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, to discuss the presidential election and address the challenges educators may face.
The 2020 presidential election has presented a challenge to educators across the country as they have navigated this topic with their students. Especially after the recent storming of the U.S. Capitol, students are going to have a lot of questions, thoughts, and concerns as this is unfamiliar territory for them, and teachers are tasked to address them.
First and foremost, it’s best that educators seek to ensure the social and emotional health of the students and cultivate relationships based on tolerance and empathy prior to having these conversations and conducting these lessons. We must teach, but we must care first. Ensure norms for productive discussions are established and students have healthy relationships with one another. Students are experiencing an atypical amount of stress due to the ongoing pandemic, subsequent economic burdens, and all of the events of the past year. Their screens are overloaded with information from various avenues. They may not have the ability to process this as adults would. Classrooms provide a space for them to process.
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