Friday, August 15, 2014
This week has been one of the most emotional weeks I have experienced in a very long time. I have cried in my car on the way to work every day this week. I have sobbed as I travelled home in each day. It has been a week of watching events unfold that I have no idea how to process. Often, I have to tap into where I feel, not necessarily what I feel. This week, my emotions have settled in my throat and behind my eyes. There is not one emotion, but instead more like a handful of them have been put in a blender and pureed.
Every time I have engaged in conversations about Michael Brown and the events unfolding in Ferguson, MO I have wept. Today, I reached to ask for help with this. Tonight, I was honest about my comfort level in having these conversations. I want to be courageous. I want to embrace the confusion and fear my kids are experiencing and I want to be a pillar of strength for them. I want to feel like my humanity, my love, and my care are enough to carry that conversation. But I have doubts of my own. I have fears that my experience limits my perspective. I am worried that my own story is so drastically different that I am grossly under qualified to lead such a conversation.
In my classroom, I want to forever honor the human spirit. I want my students to feel safe in learning, in listening, in talking, in crying, in laughing, and in being honest. I want our space to be one where students know we can have the tough conversations that we don't know how to have. I have been watching as teachers have stepped up to make sure we do what is right with our kids by not ignoring what is happening here and providing space to explore what is happening and a space to process.
I am lucky because even with an overwhelming sense of fear, I am driven further by the courage of those around me. Sometimes, we don't have to be the loudest voice, but we can start with a whisper. This year, I make a commitment to start with a whisper. I will not be silent, and I will not be embarrassed to reveal the honesty of my emotions to my students and peers. I will, however, be embarrassed if I don't engage. So I urge you, I plead with you, to not be silent about the issue of injustice, the importance of our humanity, or right we have to be fearful in tough situations. Sometimes, all you can do is just start.