Dear Teachers, Let’s Continue to Build Love, Acceptance, and Respect in the Classroom

What an election year it has been and what an election it came out to be.  While us teachers try to resume normalcy in the…

What an election year it has been and what an election it came out to be.  While us teachers try to resume normalcy in the classroom and continue to do what we know and love, which is to teach our students to the best of our ability, it is hard to ignore the harsh words and feelings that came out of this election year.  The older our students are, the harder it may seem for us to explain what has transpired.

Yet no matter how challenging it is,the best thing that we can do for our students still is to continue to do what we have always done – continue to teach love, acceptance, and respect in the classroom.

We are all teachers because of the love that we have for our students.  Let’s continue to teach love in our classrooms and let that still be the fabric of our classroom community.  Regardless of all the changes around us, the basic principle of love for one another should not be changed and will not be changed.  As we step into the holidays and the new year, there are even more opportunities for our students to continue to practice showing love in the classroom and in the community- collect canned goods for food banks, make greeting cards for nursing homes, send care packages to soldiers abroad, adopt an angel as class, and the list goes on.

Let us also continue to celebrate our students’ uniqueness by encouraging them to accept one another as they are.  As a primary school teacher, I have had the privilege to witness my young students accept and celebrate each other’s uniqueness everyday.  The kids get it, and they love that their friends can be similar, yet different.  Let’s continue to celebrate that acceptance going into the holiday season by learning and celebrating our students’ holiday traditions as well as people all around the world. We can also connect with classrooms from across the country or the world to become pen pals or simply read a book on friendship together.  

Respect.  What a great time to teach that to our students and show it as adults.  No matter who we feel, respect for our fellow Americans is crucial and it is what makes our country and classrooms great- we respect differences, we respect contrasting ideas, we respect each other, and we respect the democracy that allows us the freedom to experience and teach about elections.  Therefore, continue to teach our students to speak with respect towards each other.  Saying thank you, I’m sorry, and please, being polite, showing empathy, taking turns, and respecting one another even when we have different opinions will never get old and will always be the cornerstone of character education in our classrooms.
After a long year of divisiveness and tension in our country, there is one thing that we as teachers should and continue to build together is love, acceptance, and respect in our classroom for our students, our country’s future.

Additional Resources for building a positive and nurturing classroom environment: