California Educator

February/March 2021

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Page 46 of 63

We had a productive conversation and made it a teach- able moment." Katie Uppman, a fifth grade teacher at Crumpton Elementary School in Marina, was pleased her district created a slide show to share with students on Jan. 7, to help them process events from the day before. It was important, says the Monterey Bay Teachers Association member, because some students were confused and fear- ful after watching images of the angry mob. "e Monterey Peninsula School District deserves a shout-out because they created a beautiful slide show for teachers to use with students. It was very factual. It explained the difference between a protest and an insur- rection. It explained that the Constitution and the First Amendment protects people's right to protest and free speech, but it does not protect the right of people to be violent or prevent government from doing its job." It included questions for classroom discussions, ask- ing students how they felt about what had happened and what they thought was at stake for America. The Raymond Lie points to a quote from John Lennon above his classroom door: "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace." " From a special ed perspective, we used the event as a social-emotional learning moment. What happened in Washington offered my students a very valuable life lesson." — Jeni Williams, Hayward Education Association heartfelt discussions that followed in classrooms fostered critical think- ing skills in students, she says. Kirk Taylor, teacher at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, says his students discussed what happened during his check-in period at the beginning of classes on Jan. 7. "I teach math, but we talked about it because it's a big deal," says the Santa Barbara Teachers Association member. "I wasn't going to teach them about democracy, freedom or truth, because I don't feel qualified to lead a discussion like that. But I wanted to hear what they had to say. So I asked them if they had watched the news the day before and what they thought about it." Many of his students said they believed Black Lives Matter protesters were treated more roughly by police in protests during the summer compared to white protesters at the Capitol. "They felt there was a great deal of hypocrisy," says Taylor. "They expressed feelings of bewilderment and disappointment. It was nice seeing them let loose, because often on Zoom there isn't much dialogue. For me, it was gratifying to hear them speak their minds so well." David Budai, a science teacher on special assignment and Coach- ella Valley Teachers Association member, talked with students Even my students who identify as conservatives felt what they witnessed was pretty horrific and were upset about seeing police attacked at the Capitol." —Dawn Matthews, Livermore Education Association 45 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 21

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