By Avery Lawrence, DCschoolHUB Correspondent
I’m not a Trump fan. I do not share his platform or pronounced beliefs. I voted for Clinton. This piece isn’t about my views on President-Elect Trump. It’s about how needed this was for today’s students. For the sake of this article “students” will be defined as those savvy enough to have an intelligent understanding of the world we live(d) in. So, ages 13-22 (yes, I’m including college students).
- Get politically active. A friend of mine told me a story about his second day of student teaching. It was 9/11/01. He just finished his first class of day two and was with his mentor teacher in the break room. My friend was asked why he wanted to teach social studies. He explained he loved history and felt that kids today didn’t appreciate history because nothing historical happened in their lifetime. He told his mentor it would take a major event for them to take notice of what’s going on in the world and how it effects current conditions. Just then another teacher burst into the break room and said that a plane crashed into a building in NYC…The mentor teacher still tells the story to friends and colleagues as does my friend. True story.
The events of 9/11 made hero’s out of every day people. Whether they rushed into a burning skyscraper, signed up for the military that week, or helped bring down a plane destined for the White House. But in 15 short years our youth have become less and less political and happy to live life in their iBubble.
- It’s time for the privileged youth to feel uncomfortable. When was the last time you woke up wondering when you’d have your next meal? How about a time where you worried about your village being destroyed by war? Let’s face it. For the most part the privileged youth will inherit the country. If they made it through high school and college without having to experience societal discomfort why would they possibly look to change all that is wrong with our society. And that’s just here at home. Atrocities take place every day that have ZERO effect on US citizens. While I will not compare 9/11 to a Trump presidency on the holy crap-o-meter. The fact is, 9/11 was just one day. President Trump will be at least 1,459 days.
- Real life is right now. The question every teacher dreads: when am I going to use this in the real world. Well, the real world just got a lot realer, didn’t it? Trump says he will build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. I’m still trying to figure out where the money is coming from, where the wall will actually be built, how high, what will it be made of, how will it affect wildlife along the wall line…and those are just a few I thought of in minutes.
So teachers, here’s a great cross-curricular project to throw at the kids. Have them plan a wall as president and figure out how to actually make it work. The best part is they can start to understand that great work doesn’t always have a finished product. I’m sure they’ll learn that it’s virtually impossible to create.
My hope is that the scare of a tyrannical president is enough to push students into the real, real world and that President Trump turns out to be a better human and leader than he has portrayed himself to be…his whole adult life.