This year’s election cycle is a popular source of conversation with my students. There are lot of big personalities and a lot of bombastic things that show up in social media. So many times, they try and pull me into the conversation. It is not moral or ethically appropriate for me to discuss politics except obviously if someone is saying something bigoted. It is very difficult to walk along that line.
There is also a lot of discussion amongst my students of colour (or non-white students, for those who want to nitpick) about what it means to be “woke”. Being “woke” is being aware of the problems in society and knowing that there is still a struggle in the fight for human and civil rights. I say this without bragging, but all of my non-white students have called me “woke” at one point or another. Often I want to point out that as a woman of colour, I have felt some of their struggles as well. But I just take the compliment and continue on.
One of the most difficult conversations I had this election season has been during the moments before a soccer match. My players, sitting together and chatting, began questioning one student’s choice on supporting Donald Trump. I don’t support Trump, but my students don’t know that–they could probably guess, but I refuse to say one way or another. I had to cut their conversation short because their questions were becoming aggressive and I didn’t feel like it would be a very helpful conversation.
Being a teacher means that you have to model proper behaviour at all times, even when you disagree with what’s happening, unless it is detrimental to the health and welfare of your students. It is so difficult to do so, but I have to say that it’s an important part of one’s job. – SDM
If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.
Photo by Brigitte Werner