being a teacher

What Do We Do Now

On Tuesday the video highlighting the amazing work my students do was released by Microsoft to the world.  On Tuesday I went to Youtube to watch it.  On Tuesday, I saw the comments left below it.  “Indoctrination…Lose her job…Islam is evil…”  My heart sank and my first reaction was to ask Microsoft to please close the comments to shield my students.  To shield them from the hate of others who do not seem to see the bigger picture.  From those that are bound and determined to spread more hate.  It seems we have seen a lot of this lately, even more than we have in a long time.

But I didn’t send the email.  I didn’t ask for the comments to be closed.  I didn’t ask for my students to be shielded from this hate because this is the world we live in.  One that is filled with many opinions, some so hateful they make me angry, and yet, my job is not to shield at all cost.  My job is to educate.

So how do we fight back?  We continue to educate.  We show both sides and not in its ugliest, but in a way that will show our students that their job is to find their own opinion and the only way they can do that is by learning, by reading, by trying to understand things that they may not agree with

So we continue to educate and then we stand up for what we believe in.  We stand firm on the shoulders of righteousness, of love, of unity, of belief in other people, even those that are different from us.  Even those that we do not understand.  Parts of our country may feel like our country is broken, I know I certainly do,  so we must stand even firmer and continue to pave the way toward a nation that comes together not through our fears but through our hopes for a better future.  One where we do not just point out all of our differences and how we think others are wrong, but one that we can see how we are similar.  Fear unites those that fear.  Hate unites those that hate.  But so does love, and a love that is determined to conquer even hate is not one to count out.

I refuse to be afraid of the future that lies ahead of our nation because I know that as educators we can present the facts.  We can create opportunities for our students where they are presented with information that is not laced by fear or filled with hatred and then allow them to choose their own opinion.  We can use technology and outreach so that students will meet other people that dispel the myths we carry.

The road ahead may seem long.  The road ahead may seem like it will lead us down a dark rabbit hole where we are not sure what is waiting for us on the other side.  But we have knowledge.  We have the power to bring the world in so that our students may experience more than what they are told to believe form those whose voice are filled with hate.

I refuse to be afraid, for I am emboldened.  We can continue to work toward the future we have always envisioned, that has not been taken away from us.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

17 thoughts on “What Do We Do Now”

  1. I went right to YouTube as soon as I read this blog post. I love that some of the comments were obviously students who very much appreciate the things they are being taught. We need more of this kind of teaching, not less! It was wonderful.

  2. Pernille,
    You are a beacon that all teachers should follow. Haters use their will to destroy and lessen to heighten their own agendas and desires. Don’t let them push you away from the necessity of teaching tolerance and empathy. By keeping the populace afraid, uninformed, and illiterate, these groups keep their power. Light and acceptance robs them from their ugly agendas.

  3. Bravo!!!!!

    On Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 10:59 AM, wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: “On Tuesday the video highlighting the amazing work > my students do was released by Microsoft to the world. On Tuesday I went > to Youtube to watch it. On Tuesday, I saw the comments left below it. > “Indoctrination…Lose her job…Islam is evil…” My hea” >

  4. I’m so thankful for this post. In Canada we are aware of your issues and yet are not able to truly understand some of the attitudes that continue to be present in many areas. Continue to shine the light into those dark areas. As a famous Canadian poet said, “There is a crack in everything. It’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen) Thank you Pernille for all that you do.

    1. Susan and Pernille,
      Susan, thank you for the Leonard Cohen quote. I am looking so hard for the light right now, the tears are clouding my vision. Pernille, thank you for the inspiration you give to children and fellow teachers, like me. We will make it through this together, we must continue to teach compassion and hope.

  5. I too went to the video the minute I saw it was posted and I loved it! Then, my heart sank, as I read the comments. I am always surprised at the direction people choose to take things! So, just keep plugging along, because hope springs eternal and you will probably never change the people who have already made up their minds. I want all children to grow up in the world YOU envision Pernille and lots of us are following your lead! Hang in there.

  6. You are truly an amazing educator. Too bad that there are those out there who do not see the work that you do to help your students understand and have compassion for others. Your students are lucky to have a teacher who helps her students be aware of what is going on in the world.

  7. Hang in there. As teachers in this difficult time we face many obstacles. But if we continue to work and reach one student then it is worth it. You never know that one student might become our next leader. Don’t be discouraged your work is inspirational.

  8. I appreciate what you stand for as a teacher and human being. Thank you for speaking your truth and speaking for those who may not have a voice.

  9. Stay strong. Opening eyes to the greater world and encouraging empathy, respect and compassion are worthwhile goals. Inspiring children to inquire and learn more about others and looking through the eyes of another to gain a new perspective and make connections are noble endeavors. Wishing you and your students well on the journey of learning with open hearts and open minds.

  10. Pernille,
    Please stay strong and continue to be the beacon for all of us. No matter how dark our future looks today, we must lock arms and continue to march together as beacons for the future of all children.

  11. Way to go, Pernille!!!! I’m so proud of you!!! I’m outraged that anyone could have found fault with your actions as a teacher or the piece Microsoft did, but I’m sadly not surprised either. Your outlook is right on and I continue to be inspired by you and follow your lead in my own classroom!! Thank you!

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