So the elections have come and gone with few surprises. One thing our faculty and staff all agreed upon at lunch was that they were glad the ad campaigns were finally over.
As we try to engage children in better social/emotional learning to prevent bullying-like behaviors, what horrible models most of those ads were. One thing I learned from the elections is that change is difficult and if you don’t deliver on your promises of change quickly, you’ll be ousted by those who obstruct and don’t pose any new ideas. Regardless of the party in control, history seems to show that midterms have this effect on people.
Regardless of what one’s political views are, this country was founded as a democracy. A democracy is only as good as its citizens and that is why (at least for me) I think it’s important to use elections, even when they are not presidential ones, as teachable moments.
Yesterday, when the students arrived in my class, they all received a ballot with three initiatives on it and the instructions to choose one.
- To have one afternoon recess on the third Thursday of each month.
- To have one additional writing period a week.
- To work towards being a more caring person.
Well the recess one won. But not by as much as you would think. Only 2 votes separated the recess option from the writing option. It was also really nice to see that over 20% of the class voted for option 3.
We also had a chance to talk about the suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony, and the voting rights for women.
Today we continued the lesson by learning about what the House and Senate do through reading the book House Mouse, Senate Mouse. Picture books are great ways to teach and launch kids into more questions and further learning.
Let’s hope when our students are of voting age, they fill in the bubbles on a ballot with a full understanding of what they are voting for.