Hedreich Nichols

We Are One (The Pre-election Edition)

Small Bites Friday Five 10-30-20:

K-3 – Here are fully fleshed out election day lesson plans from Colorful Pages.

K-12 – No time to devote to a full-blown plan? Use this sample ballot, also from Colorful Pages, to host your own election. Vote for candidates or something fun like vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Talk about why there are only two choices. (No time to copy? Put it on the screen and let kids make their own.)

3-8 – Ask your students if they know that women could not always vote. Watch this 3-minute video that helps explain why. 

K-12 – When you think about your classes, which of your students isn’t connected to the group? Make a point to connect with them one on one. Exchange some personal fun fact and really listen when you ask how they are.

Educators – Make it a point to have a bedtime, preferably no later than 10:30, no exceptions.

Earlier this week, I did a session for Rethinking Learning with Barbara Bray. We talked about strategies on how to have empathy with ‘others’. Others are people who think or look different than us and our friends. Once we stopped recording, talk turned more specifically to the upcoming election and how every ‘we’ in the country is sure that every ‘they’ in the country is destroying the American way of life.

The problem with that way of thinking is, we and they are us. This isn’t our team against the other team. This is one team, one nation indivisible.

What happens Wednesday? How do we heal the bitter divide and seek to understand that, in this case, there really are very fine people on both sides?

Tuesday night, one side will cheer, one side will hang their heads. But on Wednesday, after the best man wins, even if we don’t all agree that he is the best man, we have to shake hands and move forward. I personally will have a difficult time losing. I will be like the woman I mentioned in this week’s episode of #SmallBites. I may cry, and even if I don’t I will wonder what will become of our country. Because, while there are, at least in this case, some fine people on both sides, some is a long way off from all or even many.

If my side loses, I will wonder what will become of my country because those who are not fine people terrify me with their vision for our country that excludes so many and divides us all. And yet…

…I will log into my Zoom on Wednesday and tell my students that we will be OK. I will pull up a list of controversial elections all over the world and show them how many of those countries survived and even thrived in the wake of change, sometimes even bad change.

I will remind my kiddos that an election does not make or break a country, its citizens do. I will remind them that we are the only fine people who really decide the fate of a nation.

I will remind myself too.