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The Storming of the Capitol

Tomorrow is going to be a challenging day for American educators.

There might be children who come to school with minimal information about today’s events at the Capitol. There might be kids who come into your classroom — be it in person or on Zoom — repeating their parent or caregiver’s bias, which may or may not match your own. There might be questions about the meaning of words like coup, insurrection, and sedition. There might be questions about why or how can this happen here? Tomorrow could be filled with hard questions and long pauses. We encourage you to listen to questions and encourage respectful dialogue between students while adhering to facts.

We also encourage you to provide students with space to write outside of writing workshop time if you believe it would be beneficial. Students might write to record swirling thoughts, to question bias, to draft a letter to elected officials, or to process the images seen on television. 

Educators provide stability to children every day. We thank you and celebrate the important work you’ll do in the company of children tomorrow.

With sincere appreciation,

Amy, Beth, Betsy, Kathleen, Melanie, Stacey, and Therapi

15 thoughts on “The Storming of the Capitol

  1. I am also incredibly saddened and rattled by the capitol storming. Unfortunately, the daily outpouring of facts and “facts” from political sources, media, friends, family and neighbors can be very difficult for adults, little lone children, to sort out. One only has to listen to various and opposing news media and pundits to experience how facts can be manipulated. I used to think a fact was just that, and in its literal sense it is, but it seems these days, that the relaying of “facts” ,truly depends upon the presenter and the data selected to support an opinion. I am thankful that resources are being provided by some schools to allow kids to share their feelings about the capitol in supportive settings. For older students, sharing strategies and reasons for identifying multiple input before developing an opinion would be useful in these challenging times. Best of all, would be teaching each other the importance of listening, absorbing and reflecting before reacting… I hope that I am not too naïve in believing that we can still get better at this. I know we can!
    I have recently retired from teaching, but have taught for over 30 years and know how challenging it can be for teachers to guide students through the aftermath and climate of difficult events. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and guidance. My heart and good wishes go out to all of you for tomorrow and onward as we navigate our future together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been glued to the television and social networks all day. This is all hard to process. Kate Messner addressed the idea we’re living in a historical moment, so one idea I have is to read accounts of other uprisings and insurrections. Then have students write a historical account of today’s events.


  3. Thank you for this. I am a retired teacher and staff developer. Our children trust us, let us be gentle, but also truth-tellers. This day brought back the memories of September 11, 2001. I was in my little office in the morning before the kids entered. Our administrators made the decision to keep the show on the road, even though the majority of teachers had heard the news. We were told to not say a word all day and let the parents handle it. We missed a very big moment with our students to talk about democracy. It didn’t work of course, because some parents brought their kids late to school and the building erupted in chaos. I was a staff developer and spent my days going into classrooms. That was the only day in my whole career I didn’t ask permission… I just left. Went home and called my dad, and called my daughter in college and planned what I’d talk to my son about when he got home.

    My dad WW2 vet said something, that I will remember forever. “Nancy, now we know what millions of people around the world feel on a daily basis. They live in fear.” Today, I felt that terror again and I am 65 years old. We need to teach our kids to protect our democracy. XO nanc


  4. A terrible day for America. I believe we have problems with our voting procedures that need to be addressed but I am horrified that criminals, posing as protesters, have violated the process that makes America Great (not to mention tarnish the name of many peaceful protesters). We will get through this terrible time and I pray for our future leaders. Be well!

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  5. Just a few things to consider. When 911 happened, we had similar instruction. Listen, allow the students to write, speak, and be heard. I always maintained that my job was to facilitate learning and help the students to think for themselves, not tell the kids what i think. I think this applies here.
    I encouraged the students before and after elections to find news materials across the spectrum not just one news source.
    I believe this applies here.
    I found a few things in history that might help.

    1954 United States Capitol shooting – Wikipedia (burning of the Capitol in the war of 1812.)

    There are also states and other countries that have experienced these things:
    (Michigan) (Texas) France

    It is important to also recognize the riots and looting that occurred after acts of violence. But that would mean you have time, and you most assuredly have to get some teaching done.
    Thank you for our wonderful article here!


  6. Thank you for this post! I am numb. I have to say that I really didn’t know what to say at school tomorrow. You have given me some calm and level-headed ideas I can use. I appreciate you! Jennifer Sniadecki

    On Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 7:25 PM TWO WRITING TEACHERS wrote:

    > twtcoauthors posted: ” Tomorrow is going to be a challenging day for > American educators. There might be children who come to school with minimal > information about today’s events at the Capitol. There might be kids who > come into your classroom — be it in person or on Zo” >


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