The State of the Union - Elementary Students React to Election Results
The past two weeks in the Upper Elementary classroom have been full of discussion and learning about our government, our election process and the students’ responses to the current election. We have grounded our discussions by going back into history to articulate the values and principles on which our country was built and which, through concerted effort, have evolved and expanded over time – inclusion, representation, civil discourse, protection of our basic freedoms of speech and assembly, and the gradual enfranchisement of the groups of people who had been excluded—slaves, free people of color, women, immigrants.
Student emotions have run high, earnest questions have been asked, astonishment and frustration have spilled out. It has been important to honor their budding interest in the future of our land. One favorite moment came while they were commenting on how “things would have gone differently had I been able to vote.” We mentioned that that time was not very far off; they couldn’t vote in the next election but certainly in the one after that. Their eyes widened, and they became hopeful, gleeful—“Really???” And, as teachers, it was easy to bring the discussion around to why then it was important to do your best in school! We need critical thinkers, and good writers, and people who value science, now more than ever…Our Summit community gives children opportunities to develop strong voices, active consciences, and concern for the well-being of each other and for more distant communities.