Pleading for Help

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.

I’m proud
From Ukraine

Our beautiful people
Eight years

Being decided
Against our values
Our rights

Live freely
Same dreams
Understand us now

December 7, 1941
September the 11th

Our country experience
Right now

Is this too much to ask?

I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by

7 thoughts on “Pleading for Help

  1. Rita, your students are so lucky to have you. It’s so important that youngsters can think, discuss, question and respond to the history playing out in their young lives. Love your poem, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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