Real Talk: A Year Of Loss, Fear, And Hope In A Chicago School

As 2016 moves farther into the rear view mirror, many of us are left with mixed emotions. Some relief to see a year so full of turmoil come to an end, some hope to start anew with a flip of the calendar, and some fear and grief as we head into an uncertain time led by a government that often feels openly hostile and condescending to many Americans.

Inching closer to inauguration day, we are holding up in prayer all of our fellow citizens who have been chastized, villified, and targeted by rhetoric and proposed policy shifts.

This deeply moving post, A Year of Loss, Fear, and Hope in a Chicago School, published on The Huffington Post puts personal, individual stories on display as a means to examine privilege, fear, and the deep needs of our public school children.

Why do so many Black and Latino young men feel a sense of hopelessness or despair? What can schools do to better embrace and connect with kids on the margins? Where are the job opportunities and mental health supports for young people in our city’s neediest neighborhoods?

Asking good questions is, of course, part of the territory for teachers. But for me, the best, most urgent question of the year was not part of any unit plan or asked by any adult at our school. It was posed by an 8th grader, toward the end of an assembly that addressed the violence in our community, how it was affecting us, and how we might respond. The girl who asked it raised her hand tentatively before saying, “How does hope unfold?” READ MORE…


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