Today I stopped what we were working on in ELA to give my 7th-grade students the opportunity to watch the live stream of Ukrainian President Zelensky addressing the United States Congress. I thought it was important that they witness this historic moment. In an effort to keep politics out of any discussion, I muted the commentators as we waited for the address to begin. I explained that depending on what news broadcast you watch, the information could be presented or slanted to a particular view or opinion, and we were not viewing this as a political issue, but as a humanitarian issue.
There were many lines in President Zelensky’s speech that moved me and gave me pause. The situation is so complicated in some ways yet so simple in others. The students made observations with the clarity of 13-year-olds. That is not meant to be condescending, but rather as a wonderment of the beautiful hearts of youth and what happens on the way to adulthood that changes and hardens some hearts.
I printed a copy of the speech because even though I took notes as I watched, there was so much I wanted to return to, to mull over, to reconcile. That is not a one-shot deal. Today I was able to create a blackout poem from the first of four pages of text. Tomorrow, I will try to digest a little more.
Our beautiful people
Against our values
Understand us now
December 7, 1941
September the 11th
Our country experience
Is this too much to ask?
I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by twowritingteachers.org