Bold, Brave and Bubbly Brandt

Ms. Brandt expresses concern and gives wise words regarding the 2017 Presidential Inauguration

A+plethora+of+students+protest+Donald+Trump+outside+of+the+White+House+%28Photo+via+Wikipedia+under+the+Creative+Commons+License%29

A plethora of students protest Donald Trump outside of the White House (Photo via Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License)

“I have been teaching for a bit now, and every year a student or two asks me, ‘Ms. Brandt, what was the defining moment of your generation?’  My response, ‘9/11.’  Their response validates that they are aware of the day.  What their response lacks is the gut punching feeling it leaves me with.  That day seems to stand still in time, forever recorded in pixels on paper and on the Internet.  My students’ growing minds cannot grasp the magnitude, the change September 11th brought, spanning beyond the oceans that surround our 50 states and large continent; but how could they? They were just innocent babies.

Once the discussion about 9/11 comes to a pause, without fail, one student asks, ‘What do you think our generation’s moment is?’  Until recently, my response, ‘It hasn’t happened yet.’  Ask me again today my response, ‘January 20, 2017.’  From the mouth of one of my students, ‘The day the new president moves into the Whitehouse.’

I think it is safe to say that I am not the only one that feels sadness and fear with the man who will soon be ‘moving into’ the Whitehouse. This will not be the only moment that defines this generation, but it is a catalyst for more to come.

The day after the election results were announced, and we were staring a harsh reality in the face, not a single student of mine was absent from school.  They came to school that day; a place of comfort, familiarity, and security.  I didn’t teach figurative language, read a novel, or work on vocabulary that day.  I sat next to my students.  We were silent for a bit, but I had to start talking.

In all honesty, I did not sleep the night before, and that is how I started the conversation.  I could not sleep because I knew they did not sleep, consumed with concerns about what they had heard the president elect say about race; but one race in particular.

My students did not have much to say that day, but their concern filled the classroom like over sprayed cologne. What is there to say to ease their concern, change the results?  All I could do was be real.  We faced the reality that we could not control the results of the previous day, nor the events that (will) follow.  The only thing we can do is be kind to one another.  Respect each other for who we are.  Respect yourself for who you are.  Pass your kindness on to someone who may need it – for whatever reason.”

Love and Peace,

Ms. Brandt

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