Today was shitty.
Today I bared my soul to my students. Possibly for the first time in my eight year career.
Today my school decided to forego our usual schedule and instead spend time restoring. Our Crews are essentially advisory on steroids. We work with the same group of students for four years in a row and really get to know them. So, this morning we met and held a circle-based conversation about how we felt. Some might construe this as a political statement; others might realize that there was pain and emotion regardless of what side you were on.
I read my students the poem from Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionsts, and I did not speak out - Becayse I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.
Many of them were upset; a few cried as I did; and some were on their phones looking for solace. It was the first time I decided not to stop them.
I hope we can grow from this somehow. I believe we can. I just don't know how yet. I look forward to taking action. To being the kind of person I want to be my own leader. And, in the meantime, I'll just teach my students something every day so they can be educated adults and push back against a growing shadow across the world.