Love is the most powerful story we can tell, and an often the story that is missing in our schools.
I remember sitting in one of Elena’s workshops when she asked us to share with a our partner about a student we’ve love. I immediately thought of Jordan. I shared how I loved his sense of humor. I shared about his struggles academically as he learned to manage school with his learning disabilities, and I shared his love of football and how class on Mondays were always my favorite as he and the other students would recap the Friday night game. I still get a warmth in my heart when I think about these moments.
I truly love the message that love deserves to be an explicit part of our storytelling in our schools. The article A Case for Love in the Classroom from Teaching Tolerance shares exactly what this looks like. Michelle Nicola, a Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient shares how “I have grown to understand, however, that knowing my students as individuals is not enough—it doesn’t produce the type of meaningful connection that will create a more equitable and just society. So part of my practice as a social justice educator has been to educate myself. What is the history of segregation in Portland—where my students and I live—and how does it affect the present-day realities of my students? Where are some of my blind spots about race, religion and ethnicity, and which books can help me be aware of them? Who are the colleagues I can trust to tell me hard truths? Love in the classroom means taking a hard look at the interwoven realities of our students, the community and ourselves. What we are not aware of in ourselves, we pass on to our students.”
Think about a student that you have loved. Share that story.