by Peg Grafwallner, M.Ed.
Last month, I was in a junior classroom listening to students discuss the upcoming debate between the two candidates. As students were sharing their feelings, albeit most of it echoing their parents’ political affiliation, I encouraged students to be alert and aware.
“You are living through history,” I told them. “Be sure you are able to answer questions when your children, nieces, nephews, or neighbors ask you what it was like during the election of 2016. You will be reading the history books years from now that are going to spin this election in a variety of ways; but, you are actually living through it!”
They half-halfheartedly nodded.
I looked at the teacher and asked, “May I share a personal story?”
“Of course,” he said.
“When my son was small he was writing a report on Apollo 13. He came to me and asked me what I remembered. I was only 10 at the time, but he was looking to me for an angle, an ‘eye-witness’ report from someone who was there. Unfortunately, I was no help. I didn’t remember or know anything. He walked away dejectedly.”
I continued, “Someone will ask you what you remember about this election. They will have read the history books, they will have watched the news reports, they will have read social media. Then they will come to you and ask you for the truth. What will you tell them?”
At this point, the nodding had purpose. I looked at the teacher and he smiled at me.
This evening I received this email from the teacher.