Last Monday, high school history teacher and AAFTP Fellow Daniel Jocz stopped his planned lessons to launch into a study of the events in Beirut, Paris, and the April attack at a university in Kenya, providing a place to study, reflect, process, and discuss these tragedies. Jocz was quoted in the LA Times saying, “Part of my job is to just totally confuse the hell out of them...If they can get clarity of the confusion, that’ll make them better civic participants.” Tuesday’s bombing in northeastern Nigeria reminds us again of how continual and confusing these tragedies feel.
As educators, we face tough choices: With so many tragedies in the world, how much do we teach, and what do we withhold? What leadership can we provide to the teachers in our buildings to help them hold developmentally appropriate conversations? In a media-saturated world, how can we do a better job fostering critical thinking and empathy, raising children who have open arms and hearts?
It is our job to ensure that all children can reach their potential in a complex world. This week, we were confronted again by the deep disparities in our country of how states performed on the Common Core-aligned tests. We have a long way to go. We are so glad that great educators are leading children through these challenging times - the work of teachers matters more than perhaps we will ever know.