being a teacher, being me

We Continue the Path

In an hour our oldest daughter, Thea, will wake up and ask us the inevitable; who won, mommy?  We have not shielded her from the election, nor overtly exposed her to it.  Instead she has picked up the commotion surrounding her piece by piece as kids have taunted each other on the playground and we have answered her many questions.  Why do people like Trump or Clinton?  Where will the wall be built?  Why does it matter, mommy?

To a 7 year old the election is only a Tuesday night blip.  An event out of the ordinary but soon forgotten.  Yet as her mom, I keep thinking about the conversations that lie ahead, of what path our country will take now, of what questions she may bring home after she hears things on the playground.

I refuse to be afraid of the future that lies ahead.  I have faith in the American people that we will choose kind even if those in office fail to do so.  I have faith that our healing lies in our classrooms, where we will continue to teach all of the children, no matter their political beliefs, no matter their origins, no matter their stories.

While our presidents may define us outwardly as a nation, they will never define our classrooms unless we let them.  Unless we choose to shape our morals based on the actions of someone else.  It does not matter where your political affiliation lies; this election has changed us all, has brought a darker side to our united nation and it is now up to us to show the good that is America.

Our children may not care who sits in the Oval Office.  Our children may not care about the political mudslinging or the decisions that are to come.  We will, and yet we can teach such that we continue to focus on what we have always focused on; kindness, empathy, awareness and critical thinking.

America may feel like it has changed overnight, and yet it still looks a lot like the America I knew yesterday.  It is still filled with good people, with dreams of a better life, of teachers who work tirelessly to help shape the future of our country.  Of children who strive for knowledge and a place they can belong.

So do not stray from your path of goodness.  Do not forget to teach the every day lessons of kindness, sharing, listening, and building community.  We say that we as teachers help shape the future of of our country, we do, so now we shall continue down the path we have been walking for so long.  One that focuses on unity.  One that focuses on education for all.  One that focuses on coming together, rather than apart.


21 thoughts on “We Continue the Path”

  1. Pernille,
    Please continue with your kindness and generosity. That is the only way we can all survive. We are good people, all of us, even the ones who thought this was the answer. We will find the best path and become the country that we know we should be.
    Hugs for all today. Thank you for sharing your continued wisdom.

  2. Thank you Pernille for your message. Here is hoping that we all “choose kind” in the coming weeks/months (and next 4 years).

  3. Thank you for the reminder that our president may define who we are outwardly, but not who we each are from the core!

  4. I had faith that love and intelligence would bring a different outcome to yesterday’s vote.
    I was wrong.
    I deluded myself.

  5. I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog a couple of years ago. Even though I am a science teacher, your insights are spot on with encouragement for all of us. Thank you so much for taking the time to continue sharing your thoughts.

  6. This election has brought a darker side to our nation? That’s your opinion. You should consider being more tolerant and open-minded to other people’s beliefs. Hillary is pro-choice. I consider the killing of babies to be the darkest of dark.

  7. Thanks for your insight. I shared your words with a struggling colleague, and I am working to build community with my 8th graders whose raw emotions are worn on their sleeves. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  8. Thank you for this much needed post this morning. It’s a good reminder that I must continue to share books about kindness, caring and accepting of others’ differences with my kids and on my blog. Our kids will make a difference for the better in our world.

  9. Thank you Ms. Pernille. Ancient Greek proverb, “Kindness Begets Kindness.” Let us all just do it. Listen to our students, listen to their stories.

  10. Pernille, as always, your thoughts are a comfort at times when it seems hard to just keep on going, to keep hope alive. Even from here in Melbourne, Australia our hearts are heavy with the fear and uncertainty of what this will mean but working with children not only means we have to keep going but showing them that our belief in kindness is at the centre of it all. Your picture book recommendations are wonderful too, so many thanks for taking time to share and spread the kindness & message of hope today.

  11. I’m behind in your blog posts. I never delete them before reading them, because I love every single one! However, I do tend to get behind, which is why I’m just reading this one now. I wish I would have read it the day you wrote it because I needed it then. It still helps now too though. Thank you for your inspirational, hopeful words!

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