Prompt posted in the Google Classroom: What’s on your mind this morning?
I begin writing online, right here, where it is projected for them to see. I want them to watch me write and respond in the moment. I want them to see how writing and thinking can happen.
This morning I read a beautiful excerpt from the Cellist of Sarajevo and it reminds me of the conflict in Ukraine which reminds me of my students from Ukraine which makes me sad. I’m worried about them and for them.
The students in class ask me questions and I have no answers. “Why does the military….?” “Aren’t there Muslims in Russia and Muslims in Ukraine?” “Why would Muslims kill one another?” “I heard that Russia…..”
These questions are complicated, and I can’t keep up with their movement. But, I can help them understand words like “demonize” and “dehumanize” and “oppression”. We talk about them and what they mean.
I admit that I have so much to learn and it will be difficult to know from afar. We can only get information from the news or social media; these are only windows. We need to think about the stories, who is telling them, and from what perspective. We talk about the fact that each person is unique and not a country or a faith.
I realize that my classroom is on my mind – each student following a unique path that intersects and crosses others. Some talk among themselves. Others listen alone. Right now, they should be writing so I interrupt them.
“I did already!” one yells.
But, it has been only two minutes and the few sentences that I have seen need to be developed, fertilized, and nurtured. I know they have more to say.
“Aim to write two more sentences before I interrupt you.”
There are five of thirteen sitting in class this early. Another enters now, late.
“Keep writing, lads!” he yells.
I smile focus back on this space to show what is on my mind this morning.