Our Country Today1/7/2021
Dear ACCESS Community, Faculty, Staff, & Families –
The range of emotions I have felt throughout today as I witness what is happening in our Nation’s Capital are incredible. I quickly think about how our students are processing and trying to make sense of what is going on and what the implications are for how our current government operates. I worry that once again, students are feeling anxious and unsafe. Their emotional threshold for anxiety, stress, fear, and uncertainty, when paired with the extended isolation of this global pandemic are a test of our resilience as a people and educational community like I’ve never experienced.
I will share that reflection, open dialog, and listening to understand are invaluable steps for making sense and settling emotions. We will continue to navigate such disruptions and uncertainty like professionals. We have an awesome team of educators at ACCESS! We are blessed this way. Lean on each other as adults; reach out to counseling and admin teams for support, questions, or concerns. We are great thought partners and problem-solvers.
As adults and particularly as educators it is important to make space for individual student voice and establish norms that help to guide discussions. Assist with words and language that are supportive of our community. Challenge and interrupt hate, bias, and discriminatory comments. Our ACCESS community is so caring. Thank you all!
This is not about politics. This is about safety: physical, spiritual, and emotional. It is about respect and civility. This is about systems of white privilege and oppression. These are big issues, complex, and very challenging to navigate in conversation, classroom lessons, and day-to-day living.
Teachers will do everything possible to be adaptive and provide for students needs to talk and process. Our counseling team is ready to support and provide safe spaces for students as well. They will visit community meetings for our elementary students in the morning and open drop in meeting links for students who need to access them outside of class. Please let us know if your student needs individual support right away.
ACCESS support team:
- Devin Harkness, firstname.lastname@example.org counselor
- Dave Hall, email@example.com counselor
- Ashley Bevan, firstname.lastname@example.org counselor
- Michelle Strickler, email@example.com climate specialist
- Val Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org middle school learning center
- Beth Ricketson, email@example.com elementary school learning center
Stay safe, Be Well. We care about you and your students, Ginger & Team
Wanting to learn more? Below are some additional resources for helping students process the current turbulence in Oregon and the U.S.
- Helping Students Process the 2020 Elections - Approaches to having difficult conversations with students:
- Helping Students Process the 2020 Elections Best Practices and Resources
- Difficult Event: Community Circle Discussion Plan
- Morning Meeting following a Difficult Event
- Teaching Tolerance: Let’s Talk: Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics with Students