Support is Needed in Times of Trauma
There is great need for all of us to be there for one another. As we transition into kids being physically in the classroom and we are feeling Spring upon us, there are many smiles and a sense of renewal and new beginnings. There are also some very challenging and traumatic situations happening across our country that we all must take time to recognize and understand how these events can impact our students and our colleagues.
The tragic and unacceptable murders in Georgia of six Asian American Pacific Islander women last week is a devastating situation that extends the trend of anti-Asian violence that has occurred for hundreds of years and has been escalated over the past year. In grappling with this painful news, as educational leaders, we must take the time to be there for our students and staff in solidarity, compassion, and understanding that we stand with them and have resources available to care for them.
The Chauvin Trial is yet another example of a traumatic event that will have peaks and valleys over an extended period of time. We need to, as a school community, be prepared to recognize the needs of our students, families, staff, and self. We must reflect upon the commitments we made last year after the murder of George Flyod. This trial will be discussed in the news, during meal times, on social media, and, potentially, in classrooms. We need to ensure we work hard to create safe places for our community. We need our staff to be equipped with guidance and resources. We need to be mindful of age, place, time, and space as events unfold and, ultimately, a verdict is determined.
We also see challenges as our students show back up at school. From glee to being back to anxiety and hesitation of what was missed to fear and trepidation of being back in a place where they may not have connected prior to March of 2020. As students re-enter our physical buildings, we must take time to build. Build relationships that recognize the beautiful and unique attributes of each student. Build a foundation of trust with students where they find their individuality and respect for each other. Build new routines that take into account some of the systemic barriers that became so prevalent over the past year that were hurting students’ achievement. Build new learning opportunities that go beyond rote memorization and something that can be ‘Googled’ but enhances leadership, critical thinking, and reflection.
All of these events, past, present, and future, are experienced by each person in unique ways. Let us all do our very best to recognize our role as educators ensuring our schools are welcoming, our classrooms are safe, and our relationships are strong.
At Equity Alliance MN, we are committed to systemic equity and working with you to support equity across our systems. Learn more about how you and your team can support students, families, and staff through traumatic events by visiting our web page that has resources and information.