I heard some kids telling me
How they’ve lost all faith, in the world.
They’ve been talking world peace now
And the wars in the streets. (Rucker, 2014, stanza 1)
The lines on their faces so deep.
A revolution, or reach out and touch the day
We’re overdue, it’s time. (Rucker, 2014, stanza 2)
Now it’s time for change
Nothing stays the same (Rucker, 2014, Refrain)
As an educator, these lyrics have come to light and many of us are at a loss for words. Kids are watching the news and repeatedly hearing about the dysfunction and disruption at the U.S. Capital last week. They are also listening to the adults in their lives and are looking to us for answers. Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers and in an effort to keep myself from possible conflict with parents, even if I did, I would choose to stay silent. I was taught to never discuss politics, religion or money and I have avoided each of them like a plague when outside of my home.
So, what do we do? The little ones are seeking answers and we need solutions. How do we address changes that are truly needed? Countless people want to point fingers at one party or the other and the biggest problem is the divide. I’ve read article after article about propositions and have yet to find any that are instrumental or would be effectual in getting needed results for this day and time.
So, what do we do? In education, all moments are teachable moments, or so we’re told. I would beg to differ. At this point, I’m not sure what should be addressed. Educators are struggling to identify what’s true and what is not. Do we talk about respect, violence, appropriate ways to express one’s feelings, or maybe the process or adequate ways to pursue change? I am an instructor of a very diverse population. Each of my students are walking in daily and each of them have different perspectives. As a result, some are coming to school in fear. Several are anxious and a few are defensive. And I just want each of them to continue to feel welcomed in my classroom as well as send them back to their parents the way their parents sent them to me, safe. So, what do we do? What do we do? I don’t have a clue but I know it’s time for a change.