It isn’t easy growing up in our world today. Social media is distributing messages before families have time to process and discuss. And the messages being delivered are often talking over or at people instead of creating moments for thoughtful discussion. Which is why the recent field trip to the Seattle Rep by Valley 4th and 5th graders to watch their classmate Jalani Clemmons perform in A Raisin in the Sun was so timely. As Mary Louise commented upon returning from the play and having a dialogue in class, “We had a powerful discussion to reflect on our feelings about the play. Jalani asked the kids what made them uncomfortable, and it was so inspiring to hear all of the kids reflect so deeply.”
The topic of how kids respond to the news keeps coming up. A recent faculty meeting, a lunch for Heads of School at the NWAIS All Schools Conference, sidewalk conversations with parents – these are all settings where conversations have turned to the anxiety and confusion about the impact of news on our children.
By Marilyn Nicolai, Valley Librarian
In our meeting before the start of the school year, the faculty discussed teaching about the upcoming presidential election. Would teachers handle this contentious election any differently than previous elections? How can we promote Valley’s values of kindness and empathy in an environment where the adult discussion is often angry and insulting? The current state of politics is definitely not following our school rules!